Apple ButterThe 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 come from a family of canners, but I have never actually canned anything. My mom and sisters have all made jams and fruits and I never seem to be around when they are doing it. I had thought this year would be the year that I finally made some jam, but it just didn’t happen, so I was really quite happy to hear about this months challenge.
Unfortunately for me I don’t really have the cupboard space in my little kitchen to store anything that is canned so I decided to go the route of making the apple butter and freezing it in some ziplock containers. I also made a half recipe because I figured there was no way my husband and I could eat an entire recipe of apple butter.
When cutting the recipe in half I wasn’t paying attention when it came to the sugar and put the full amount of sugar in. I was worried that it would be way too sweet, but surprisingly it was not sweet at all. The process was really quite easy and after only a few hours I already had warm apple butter to put onto some toast.
All in all it was a successful challenge for me this month and it makes me want to try my hand at actually canning next summer.
6 apples, cored peeled and cut into eights
1/2 cup apple cider or water
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
Wash apples well and remove stems. Cut apples into quarters or eighths and remove cores. Note: I ended up peeling the apple at this step. Combine unpeeled apples and cider in 8-quart (about 7 ½ litre) saucepan. Cook slowly and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook until apples are very soft (falling apart).
Mash apples in the pan and add sugar. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. Leave the lid ajar during this step to allow for evaporation.
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.
Pour contents into desired storage container or multiple containers. I stored my apple butter in 1-cup (250ml) plastic containers with screw on tops. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks, freeze up to a year, and home canning is good for a year.