(B)’s grandparents have tons of apples, tons. We picked one bucket and we could have picked many more for sure. They are all irregular and funky so you have to quarter and de-core them by hand. I am a pro now! (kind of)
delightful. what can I say? This is the first thing I have canned by myself…I always head over to the Marble Ranch for canning. I have to say it was well worth it, and made me understand the process. It is not difficult, just a LOT of work. I now see why people don’t can too much anymore, however I also see why I am going to make a habit of it now. There is something so neat about taking something and storing it for winter- just like ants and squirels for sure.
Baked Apple Butter (recipe from Joy of Cooking: All About Canning & Preserving, p. 82)
This is the easiest and perhaps the finest, apple butter of all.
Stem and quarter:
6 Pounds unpeeled cooking apples
combine in a large, heavy saucepan with:
8 Cups apple juice or water
Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft, about 1.5 hours.
Preheat the over to 200 degrees F.
Pass the apples through a food mill or medium-mesh sieve. Return to pan and add
Juice and grated zest of 1 Lemon
1 and 1/4 Cups sugar (half may be brown)
1+1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Slowly bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in:
1/2 Cup port or dry red wine (optional)
Pour three-quarters of the puree into a crock or deep backing dish, reserving the rest. Bake, uncovered, until thick enough to mound on a spoon, about 10 hours. As the mixture shrinks, ass the reserved puree. Pack the hot fruit butter into hot jars. See putting up preserves, p. 50. Leave 1/4- inch headspace, (p.12) and process for 10 minutes (p.14).
my notes: I left my skins on. I didn’t pass it through a sieve at all, just mashed them up and the peels end up breaking all up and not being obvious (unless a little peel here and there bugs you).
I used water and not apple juice. I probably quadrupled the recipe, so I had to cook it for longer. Make sure you don’t try and get done faster by turning up the heat, it will burn. I did turn it up to 300F for a while, and that was fine but you need to stir it often.