Saturday, September 24, 2016

Homemade Apple Butter Tutorial


It has been several weeks since my sugar-free peach canning tutorial, so Mr. Handsome and I decided to take on another project: apple butter!

We found an apple orchard that was changing owners and selling golden delicious apples for $0.50 per pound, so we decided to stock up. In just 30 minutes, we picked 70 pounds of apples!


Our KitchenAid attachment didn't arrive on time, so my dedicated hubby spent Saturday afternoon smashing apples by hand into a mesh strainer. After two hours of work, we ended up with two pints of apple butter.

Then on Monday, Mr. Handsome came home from a nine-hour day at work and barely even sat down before joining me in the kitchen for five hours. Using the KitchenAid attachment was WAY more efficient. By the time everything was said and done, we had made 35 pints of apple butter.

Working on the project with my man was a blast. He spent the first 11 years of his childhood on a 75-tree orchard and has lots of great memories making apple butter, applesauce, and apple cider with his family.

And now for the tutorial! :)

Homemade Apple Butter

Step 1: Load apples into the kitchen sink, and rinse. You will also need to sterilize your jars. This time, we ran our jars and rims through the dishwasher sterilize cycle and washed the lids in hot, soapy water. (We used pint-sized jars.)

Here is a note from the Ball/Kerr website on sanitizing your canning lids: "Our Quality Assurance Team performed comprehensive testing to determine the need for pre-heating lids. Ultimately, we determined that it’s completely safe to skip pre-warming lids in the canning process. While it’s still safe to simmer your lids before use, you should never boil them. Our recommendation for over 40 years has always been to simmer (180°F) - not boil (212°F) - the lids."


Step 2: Chop apples into quarters, and add to a pot of boiling water.


Step 3: Boil gently until soft, and remove from water using tongs. (We transferred ours into a colander with a bowl underneath to catch drips.)


Step 4: Process apples using the KitchenAid Food Grinder and Fruit/Veggie Strainer attachment.

If you don't have a KitchenAid, you can smash apples through a mesh strainer by hand. Another method is to peel, core, and quarter the apples before boiling and then run them through a food processor after boiling.


Step 5: Dispose of core/peel waste, and transfer applesauce to a large pot. Add the following ingredients per ten cups of applesauce:

1/2 teaspoon cloves
1-1/4 teaspoons allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
4 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. When apple butter is HOT, remove from heat, and add to HOT, sterilized jars using a clean spoon. (Jars should be sitting on a clean towel while filling with apple butter.)

Leave 1/4 inch of empty space at the top of each jar. Using a clean knife, remove any visible air pockets.


Step 6: Wipe rims of jars with a clean towel to remove any drips. Place lids on jars, and screw rims on firmly (not too tight). Using a jar lifter/canning tongs ($3.00 in the Walmart canning aisle), load jars into waterbath canner (or a large pot that is tall enough to allow jars to be covered with 1-2 inches of water). Jars should not touch each other.

Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. If you live at an altitude of 1,000 feet or greater, you will need to add to the processing time. Click here to see the Ball/Kerr altitude chat.



Use tongs to remove jars, and place undisturbed on a towel for 24 hours. (Make sure jars don't touch each other.)

Lids should seal within 30 minutes. To check if they have sealed, press down on each lid. If they don't bounce back, they are sealed properly. Jars that don't seal within 24 hours should be refrigerated and eaten within 7 days.

Have you ever made apple butter?

45 comments:

  1. Harriet9/24/2016

    Hi :)

    I am from England and have never heard of Apple butter... What do you use it for? Looks yummy! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Harriet,

      I had not tried it until we made it this year, but it's a pretty big thing in the US. It's great on toast with butter. It's by no means a nutritional meal, but it's a great treat. :)

      Ellie

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  2. Anonymous9/24/2016

    Looks so good!! I'll have to try it sometime!
    You guys make such a cute couple :)

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  3. Anonymous9/24/2016

    I love making apple butter and jams! I can quite a bit. A tip I have is that you can also put Apple quarters into a crock pot to make the apple butter!

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    Replies
    1. That's a great idea! Do you do that after you peel the apples? I saw one tutorial where the person did not peel the apples. They just ran the mixture through the blender. I'm wondering if that would work well...

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous9/26/2016

      Yes, you peel the apples, cut them into quarters, and put them into the crock pot with the other ingredients. This is the recipe I used = http://littlehouseonthevalley.com/crockpot-apple-butter-recipe/

      Delete
  4. Anonymous9/24/2016

    Hi Ellie!
    Is apple butter like applesauce?
    I'm sorry I'm not American and I've never heard of apple butter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      Apple butter is basically spiced applesauce that you boil on the stove, so it turns out less liquidy. It's great on toast with butter!

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous9/25/2016

      Apple butter is indeed delicious!!! My family has always pureed the apple butter so it is completely smooth, and thus quite a bit different from apple sauce. Smoother, thicker, sweeter, and more flavorful...we all love it! A family tradition in our house! :-)

      Delete
  5. Anonymous9/24/2016

    Sounds like great fun, Ellie! It would be great to eat some again!! :) My cousins, aunts & uncles would get together at Grandma's house and make the apple butter over an outdoor fire in a big cast iron pot every fall growing up. Fun memories & yummy fruit-of-our-labors for months later! We would freeze some too. So yummy on fresh homemade bread!! :) To make the applesauce, a person can also use a screw-to-table-edge, hand-crank Sauce Master food strainer or Victoria Food Strainer (for 'course' texture applesauce), or an electric Champion Juicer (for 'finer' texture applesauce) [of course after they're cooked].... Enjoy it! :) Darlene

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    Replies
    1. Hi Darlene,

      That sounds like a great tradition. Thanks for sharing other devices that would work to make it, as well. I know that some people don't have a KitchenAid mixer. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  6. Anonymous9/24/2016

    Where is the rack that's usually in the bottom of all water bath canners? I assume you've never had a jar tip over or break while in the pot....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a makeshift waterbath canner. It's worked well so far, but at some point I will invest in a real water bath canner

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous9/25/2016

      Yes, do buy a water bath canner. They're not expensive and you only need one in your lifetime, if you don't let it rust. The rack is very helpful! In fact, I was taught that it was essential, as the jars bottoms really shouldn't touch the bottom of the pot.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to start looking at garage sales and on Craigslist. :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  7. Anonymous9/24/2016

    Not a fan of making fruit butters. Always worried that the acid level of the fruit variety might be wrong, or the time in the canner might not get the center of the very thick mixture up to the right temperature. I know you can't do pumpkin butter at home for those reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pumpkin butter would be quite tasty. Is that sold in stores?

      Ellie

      Delete
    2. Anonymous9/25/2016

      Trader Joe's sometimes has it this time of year, and you can find it here and there at "gourmet" or specialty food stores. I have a feeling it has to be commercially steam processed or pressure processed in some way that we can't at home. I do know the USDA came out with the home canning warning for pumpkin butter quite awhile ago.

      Delete
    3. Hmm, I wonder why that is...

      I was at Trader Joe's a few days ago. Bummer. I'll have to go back. :)

      Ellie

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    4. Anonymous9/27/2016

      http://foodpreservation.about.com/od/Canning/fl/Why-Cant-I-Can-Pumpkin-Butter.htm

      That explains about pumpkin butter at home.

      Trader Joe's near me has just started transitioning from the summer mango products to the fall pumpkin ones. So you haven't missed the window of opportunity, if they have pumpkin butter again this year. I see it on Amazon, hideously priced, so if you can find it in the store this year, you'll get a better deal. Snap it up if you see it and find that you like it. They won't have it in the store for long, since it's seasonal. Try it on gingersnaps, or on bread products with cream cheese.

      Delete
  8. What do you use apple butter for? Sounds yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Taryn,

      I had not tried it until we made it this year, but it's great on toast with butter. It's more of a treat than a nutritional meal.

      Ellie

      Delete
  9. Anonymous9/25/2016

    Using a pressure canner you can eliminate sugar. Just pressure can the pure unsweetened strained apple sauce.No spices either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's good to know. I'm not sure apple butter would taste great without sugar, but applesauce definitely would! I don't have a pressure cooker, but maybe I will ask for one for Christmas. :)

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous9/25/2016

      It's going to get to the point where we're going to have to register with Homeland Security to buy pressure cookers, if what happened in New York City continues.....

      Delete
    3. Whenever we have made apple butter, we have just cooked the applesauce down and added spices. No sugar needed, and it still tastes wonderful! If you are used to sugar in applesauce, I'd suggest cutting to amount down before cutting it out all together. It might take a little getting used to, but it's wonderful! We just can it like normal.

      Delete
    4. Thanks, Betsy. I'll have to try that next year.

      You have a beautiful name! I might have to add it to my list of baby names. Is Betsy short for something?

      Ellie

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    5. Aww, thanks! Betsy is actually a nickname for Bethany that some friends of mine came up with several years ago. Well it's not one of my most-used nicknames, it's still one that makes me smile! :)

      Delete
  10. Anonymous9/25/2016

    I LOVE apple butter !!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shela G9/25/2016

    My Grandma did a lot of canning when was young. One of my favorite things was the applesauce she made and store bought jams do not even come close to tasting as good as hers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely agree. Once you've tasted homemade jams and other products, it's hard to go back to store-bought.

      Ellie

      Delete
  12. Anonymous9/25/2016

    You can put apple butter on toast or dip your apples in the apple butter. I bought some apple butter up in Wisconsin and on the label it told me what you can use it for.



    It's really good

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous9/25/2016

    Awesome post! I always have this inner struggle because I love my kitchen aid mixer but feel that the attachments are like the underwhelming stepbrothers for it. Thus, I appreciate your post on the strainer.
    Also, random thought-- you are soooo beautiful and you remind me of another beautiful blogger (a mother of three): mommypotamus.com
    Keep up the good work, Ellie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. I wish the attachments weren't so expensive. I would love to try some of the other ones out (maybe the pasta maker), but they are just so expensive!

      Thank you for your kind words! You made my day! :)

      Ellie

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  14. Anonymous9/26/2016

    I think it would taste amazing if you replaced some of the sugar (maybe the molasses?) by maple syrup. Has anyone tried it?

    Josée

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous9/26/2016

      You have to be careful with substitutions when canning. It's always best to stick to the original formulation in the recipe. If you want to experiment, you can do a small batch, store it in the fridge or freezer, and use it up first, instead of keeping it sealed at room temp.

      Delete
  15. You can also make applesauce quickly by using an old-fashioned hand-cranked food mill. They're not expensive, usually between $25 and $45. Handy for all sorts of things like this, especially if you don't have a Kitchen Aid mixer with that attachment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's good to know. I don't believe I've seen a food mill before. What does it look like? (I might have seen one, just don't recognize the name. )
      I would love to try apple butter someday. Thank you for sharing the recipe. :)
      Love,
      Ashley

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    2. Anonymous9/29/2016

      Just go on Amazon and look up "metal food mill." They've been around since...100 years or more! They look like a metal sieve with a crank handle and a flat blade at the bottom.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous9/27/2016

    YUM! I love apple butter! :)

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  17. Anonymous9/27/2016

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. Sounds delicious!!

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  18. Anonymous10/02/2016

    Where was the orchard? We haven't had any luck finding a pick your own farm in the Nashville area.

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    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      This website is how we have found all the fruit orchards we have visited. It's great! http://pickyourown.farm/farms-near-me/

      Ellie

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