|Apples... Granny Smiths and Winesaps|
Apples and cinnamon... one of my favorite fall scent combinations! And what better way to capture that scent (and flavor) than good old fashioned apple butter! I began my early September Saturday morning making apple butter... here's what I did...
I cored and sliced 12 pounds of apples... I mixed half and half Granny Smith apples and Winesaps.
In a large stainless steel saucepan, I combined my sliced apples with 4 cups of apple juice (the original recipe I was following called for apple cider, but I had the juice on hand and used the juice... water would be fine as well... the juice just adds another layer of flavor to the finished butter)
I brought my apple and juice mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduced the heat and boiled gently, stirring occasionally, until the apples were soft... took about 30 minutes.
Once the apples were soft, I worked in batches and transferred the mixture to a food mill, pureeing until I had a uniform apple mixture. (a food processor can be used for this step, but you would need to peel the apples before cooking)
I measured 24 cups of apple puree into a clean stainless steel saucepan...
and added 6 cups of granulated sugar...
A tablespoon of cinnamon...
...and a teaspoon of ground cloves.
I stirred until the sugar dissolved, then brought the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. I reduced the heat and boiled gently, stirring frequently until the mixture thickened and held its shape.
Fruit butters are cooked until they thicken and begin to hold their shape on a spoon. To assess doneness, spoon a small quantity of cooked mixture onto a chilled plate. When liquid does not separate, creating a rim around the edge, and the mixture holds a buttery, spreadable shape, the butter is ready to ladle into jars and process.
While the apple butter was cooking, I prepared my pint canning jars by heating them in boiling water in a flat pan set on two stove eyes.
I heated my lids and rings in boiling water and kept both the lids and jars hot until I was ready to use them.
I ladled the hot apple butter into the hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
I removed air bubbles and adjusted headspace as needed by added more hot apple butter. I removed the lids from the hot water using my handy magnetic wand gadget.
I tightened the lids onto the jars to fingertip tightness, placed the filled jars into my canner, ensuring they were completely covered with water. I brought them to a boil and processed them in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
I removed the jars from the canner using my jar lifter and placed them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool... and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar (LOVE that sound!)
My DH's favorite breakfast includes scrambled eggs, bacon, and raisin toast spread with apple butter... so for Sunday brunch I made a fresh hot loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and whipped up his favorite breakfast with the delicious, cinnamon-y apple butter... Deee-Lish!!! He loved it... and I love him!
Canning Granny©2011 All Rights Reserved