Here are my very casual-not-at-all-fda-approved directions for this batch of apple butter:
- Core and quarter apples. (I used Cortlands, but nearly any apple will do. If you don’t have a food mill, go ahead and peel the apples as well.)
- Add apples to a large enough pan to allow for stirring. Add a little bit of water to prevent the apples sticking before they release their own juices. Cook covered over medium heat until apples are soft enough to mash/mill.
- Run apples through food mill (finest disc). If you removed peels for prep, you can just mash using a potato masher or immersion blender.
- Add .25 cups white sugar for every 1.25 cups apple puree. Season to taste with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. (If I were freezing this apple butter I would likely quarter the amount of sugar or omit it all together.)
- Cook puree until it is the consistency you like. You can do this in a slow cooker, low temp oven, or, if you’re especially brave and not prone to multitasking, on the stovetop. You’ll probably want your butter to mound on the spoon when it is cool.
- While keeping butter hot, process via hot water bath. Ball’s apple butter recipe uses the same canning method as I used.
Apples by Roger Yepsen
Putting Food By by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg, and Beatrice Vaughan
Let’s Preserve It by Beryl Wood
Preserving Summer’s Bounty by Marilyn Kluger
Put ’em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton
The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol Costenbader
The Art of Preserving by Rick Field, Lisa Atwood, and Rebecca Courchesne
naturally sweet food in jars by Marisa McClellan