Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Scratch & Sniff Post

A very generous friend let me pick a bushel of apples from her trees. I really wasn't sure what I was going to do with them but I was excited to find out she was too cheap to spray the trees so these apples are organic! I brought them home and decided to make apple butter. It was a lot easier than I thought and made the house smell amazing! When I was little we used to make apple butter every year in a huge copper kettle over a fire in the back yard. I always thought it was so much fun to be able stir the apple butter with the giant wooden paddle. This is a picture of me about 1979. We haven't made it this way in years but about three years ago we were visiting my uncle who has a number of cabins that he uses for a bed and breakfast. He was having a small fall festival and they were trying to create a homey atmosphere and decided to make apple butter. Sissy was able to give it a try.
So, without the copper kettle I decided to give apple butter a try. I cut about 16 apples into pieces and dropped them in a pot with 2 cups of boiling water. I left the skins on cause it adds more vitamins to the apple butter. (Actually I was just lazy but don't tell!)


Before boiling.....
after they have boiled awhile and are now mushy and ready for the Foley Food Mill.
After the apples cooked down and became a soft mush I removed them to a Foley Food Mill. The apples pulp drops through the bottom of the mill and the skins stay on top. Way easier than peeling each apple I think. After straining all the apples I added 4 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon cloves. Now it's looking more like apple butter and less like apple sauce. It also is starting to smell wonderful! I put the apple butter mixture into the oven in a crockery bowl and let it cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes at a time. As the apple butter thickens, you want to stir about every 15 minutes to prevent it from sticking and burning. You could cook it on the stove if you want but I was worried about it burning on the stove. You want it to be thick enough the spoon will stand up by it's self.
Right here is where you are going to wish this post was scratch and sniff. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful this smells!! It's like fall and christmas morning all wrapped into one.

Ladle the hot butter into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Makes about 5 pints. Check out the Ball canning book if you would like more info on canning apple butter.

Now put a big ol' dollop on a piece of homemade bread and you will think you have died and gone to heaven.





8 comments:

jskippy11 said...

Forget scratch and sniff... I wish I lived with you! I LOVE apple butter.. but would NEVER attempt to make it, EVER! That looks awesome though, If you end up with too much you can always send some my way!

Nikki said...

Ok, so we've already established that you know everything, so I'm sure you know this....other than the way you've suggested...what else do you do with apple butter? I've never had it before so I'm CLUELESS as to what it even is! Though I admire your ambition (and my family is coming to live with you during the apocolypse cuz with all the canning you've been doing we could survive there for a long time! ;0)

dawn said...

dude, great post.

shsh28 said...

My grandma did this too - copper pot and fire included!!! So now I'm feeling the need to make my own apple butter. I'm armed and ready with my new jars, just need to find my grandma's food mill. Have you ever made it with pears? I'm thinking I may do pear butter. I like pears better. And I can add less sugar because they are sweeter... can't wait!

Twinmama said...

Wow, your apple butter looks amazing! Wish I had some to slather on a hot buttered biscuit...Mmm! Kudos to you for all the effort, I would just got to Cracker Barrel and buy some!

Rachel said...

Alright, now you've got me curious. I'm going to try to make some too. I was going to just make apple wine, but then I realized I'd first have to convert all those apples into juice, and I just don't have the energy . . . applebutter seems a tad easier . . .?

(Expect phone calls with desperate cries for help . . .)

Rachel said...

Oh, and that picture of you in 1979? I think back then, you were my height now. So not fair.

Liz Foley said...

LOVE the pictures - great job!