Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.
Published on September 19th, 2010
by Clarabella

Butterey, Appley Apple Butter

The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

I really did not know what to expect with this challenge. Apple butter? Never heard of it! Apple sauce yes, know about that one, but apple butter? OK, lets give it a go and stick it in a jar and preserve it.

I think the most challenging part of this challenge was grating 2kgs of apples and not grating my finger off. I have to admit that the task did get tedious after a while and the apples, not at all happy with being left in the open air, soon started to go brown in protest. But all was not lost. Once it got cooking and started to break down into a delicious slushy mess who was to know about the creeping sneaky brownness.

After about 40 minutes the apple was nice and soft and ready to be spiced up and blended. The smell of cooking apple and all those delicious spices in the house was just appetite-inducing temptation and the wait for it to get to its proper buttery non-water-releasing stage felt like a long one. I think that anyone out there using glade wisps or ambi-pur blah de blah should stop wasting loads of money on those overpriced air ‘fresheners’ and make a little batch of this. Your house will smell so good that the next handsome man you get to walk through your door will instantly fall in love with you and want have lots of sex and babies. (can I say that on my blog? Stuff it, its my blog so I can say what I flipping well want, so if you don’t like it stop reading now!)

In about an hour the appley, watery mess had come together and embraced all the spice and cooking and become a thing of beauty. Delicious smelling, divine tasting, and devastatingly simple apple butter. Into my sterilised jar and it is now on standby ready to adorn a bagel, strudel, pie, or whatever I choose to dollop it on.

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Fruit

Apple Butter

  • 2kg apples*
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
*I used Granny Smith Apples

Yield: About 4 to 5 half-pint jars.

1.  Wash and rinse canning jars; keep hot until ready to fill.  Prepare lids and screw bands according to manufacturer’s directions.
2.  Wash apples well and peel. Cut apples into quarters or eighths and remove cores.
3.  Combine unpeeled apples and cider in big saucepan. Cook slowly and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  Cook until apples are very soft (falling apart).
4.  Process apples with a stick blender if you have one, or in a blender if you don’t
5.  Combine pulp with sugar and spices in large saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently.
6.  To test for doneness, spoon a small quantity onto a clean plate; when the butter mounds on the plate without liquid separating around the edge of the butter, it is ready for processing.  Another way to test for doneness is to remove a spoonful of the cooked butter on a spoon and hold it away from steam for 2 minutes. It is done if the butter remains mounded on the spoon.
7.  Fill hot apple butter into clean hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims with a clean, dampened paper towel