jschmenk81

Apple Butter

jschmenk81
14 years ago

Would you all mind sharing your apple butter recipes? Most that I have found use apple cider in them, but since I'm using apples from my backyard it seems a shame to go buy apple cider to use.

Thank you ahead of time, you guys are all such a wealth of information!

Jessica

Comments (41)

  • gardenlad
    14 years ago

    Jessica, the only reason for liquid, at all, is to keep the apples from burning as they cook down.

    If you don't want to buy apple cider, just substitute water.

    Eventually, most of the liquid is going to be cooked off, anyway, as the butter thickens.

  • annie1992
    14 years ago

    I agree with GardenLad. My own recipe calls for apple cider, but I have substituted water just to cook the apples in without creating a big change in the flavor of my apple butter.

    Although my recipe also calls for apple cider, I'd be glad to post it when I get home to my recipes. Just let me know.

    Annie

  • jschmenk81
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Thank you, its good to know that I don't need to use the cider.
    Annie - I would love for you to post your recipe, then I can compare before I decide which to use, and this way I know that the recipe has actually been successfully used.

    Jessica

  • Daisyduckworth
    14 years ago

    I've never made this (I don't like cooked apples much). As you see, the cider is 'only if needed' to keep the mixture moist. A little water would do the same job, or perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice.

    Apple Butter
    6 cups prepared apples (cored and quartered)
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or ginger
    apple cider or juice concentrate as needed
    1/4 teaspoon cloves
    1/2 cup honey
    1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

    Process apples in a food processor until smooth. Add apple cider or juice concentrate if additional liquid is needed. Stir in honey and cook on low heat, stirring often. When you can depress a spoon into the fruit butter and no liquid collects in the spoon, the butter is done. Add seasonings to taste.

  • annie1992
    14 years ago

    Here you go. This is definitely tried and true, Grandma made it for years before I started making it.

    GRANDMA'S OLD FASHIONED APPLE BUTTER

    6 lbs apples, quartered
    2 quarts sweet cider
    2 cups sugar
    1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground cloves

    Cook apples in cider until tender and press through sieve or food mill. Measure 3 quarts apple pulp. Cook pulp until thick enough to round up in a spoon. As it thickens stir frequently. Add sugar an spices and cook slowing until thick, stirring frequently, about 1 hour. Por into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process 10 minutes in BWB.

    Makes about 5 pints

    Now, for technique. I don't cook apple butter on the stove, stirring and sticking and dodging those little apple butter volcanos that explode onto your forearms when the butter gets thick. I dump the whole mess into a large enameled roaster and put it in the oven at about 350, stirring every hour or so until it's thick enough. The house smells wonderful, I can do other things, and the apple butter gets as thick as you like it, depending on how long you cook it.

    Annie

  • jschmenk81
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Thank you! The recipes look SO yummy, can't wait to try them. I'm so excited because tomorrow I'm going to be home alone and have the ENTIRE day for canning, and the apples on my tree are ripe! YAY!!
    Thanks again:)

    Jessica

  • petrowizard
    14 years ago

    And here's another little piece of technique. We have given up cooking the apples on the stove, for both apple sauce and apple butter. I quarter them, cut out the stem and blossom, and put them in a glass casserole with a lid, pop them into the microwave and cook them on high until they are soft. The time depends on how many apples you are cooking and what kind. No more scorching ever! And you don't need cider or water. You can't cook as many as you can in a large kettle, but usually I run them through the food mill at the same time so it doesn't matter.

    Petro

  • annie1992
    14 years ago

    Hey, Petrowizard!! Welcome back, I missed you.

    Can I cut those apples into quarters with a chainsaw, or does it not matter? (grin) I'm just kidding, I KNOW a ceramic tile cutter would work better.

    Annie

  • petrowizard
    14 years ago

    Huh? How could you miss me when you are so busy gathering much deserved accolades as the Salsa Queen? In fact, your fame is reaching out to other forums!

    No silly, a chain saw is not an appropriate precision instrument for cutting apples, and a tile saw is for hard things, like rutabegas. I prefer to use my 12 inch electric miter saw for apples. Once the quartering is done, you can set the proper angle for taking out the stem and the blossom..... ;)

  • annie1992
    14 years ago

    I'm not sure that's fame, Petrowizard, on the other forums. That might simply be reputation. LOL

    Miter saw.....I didn't think of that.

    Seriously, though, about how long does it take in the microwave to cook a big bowl full of apples?

    Annie

  • petrowizard
    14 years ago

    Ahhh, Annie, you want specifics? Ok, I don't know what the wattage is on the oven, it's not a tiny oven, but it's also probably not the highest wattage on the market either. We have a 2 quart glass casserole, and as I recall when it was heaped full to the point where you could just get the lid on, it took about 10 minutes, 6 or 7 minutes if you didn't mound the apples up so it was jammed full. We have a little turntable, so I didn't have to stir them or turn them or anything. Once the first batch was done, I could run the cooked apples through the food mill, while the next batch was cooking.

    I never checked to see if the apples cooked faster or slower with the lid on. I think I was thinking that they would steam a bit with a lid but it occurs to me now that the lid might actually slow down the cooking, so a smart person might experiment a bit. And as I said some apple varieties cooked faster than others. We were making apple sauce out of a mixed bushel of apples because we like the flavor better when there are several varieties, and you could tell in the bowl that some were cooked down to the point where the skins were falling off, whiie others were still pretty firm.

  • annie1992
    14 years ago

    Thank you, petrowizard. I didn't really need exact times anyway, I was just wanting an approximate so I would know how long it would take to do a quarter of a bushel or so.

    My microwave is 23 years old now, so it might take a little longer. (grin)

    Annie

  • petrowizard
    14 years ago

    Gee, I'm glad you didn't need exact times, because I didn't give them to you! :)

    This is not the quickest way to cook apples in quantity. But they don't scorch on the stove (we're not good stirrers here), you don't have to add any cooking liquid, and because you don't have to stand over them, you can do other things like run them through the mill. So timewise, it is pretty efficient.

    I had no idea you were so accepting of newfangled equipment. Being luddites at heart, our microwave is only 17 years old.

    :))

  • jschmenk81
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Thank you all again for the recipes and tips. I spent the weekend canning, and the apple butter is to die for, SO good. I put a bit on zucchini bread and it was WONDERFUL. There are still a lot of apples on my tree so I'm sure I'll be making more, it will be great to give away for gifts! But first I must take care of the bushel of peaches I bought Saturday. :)

  • annie1992
    14 years ago

    Petrowizard, I'm glad to see that you haven't changed a bit, you are still a true smart as......aleck. LOL

    That's a good point on the simultaneous activities. After the first batch is cooked, those could go through the food mill while the second batch is cooking. Multi-tasking in a most productive form.

    As for that microwave, it cost me $100 23 years ago. The timer is broke and the light doesn't work but I'm not sure I got my $100 out of it yet, so it still has a home on my counter until it quits working altogether.

    It's nearly apple season here and it looks like it's going to be a very good year.

    Annie

  • jiggy
    14 years ago

    Forgive me but what do you eat your apple butter with? Is it like apple sauce that you'd have with roast pork? Sorry for being such an ignorant peasant but I'm English!
    ;o)

  • melva02
    14 years ago

    Apple butter rules, it's a spread that you can use like jam. It would be good on roast pork but it's usually a lot sweeter and spicier than applesauce. I put it on popovers, toast, cookies, and sweet type things. Jessica had hers on zucchini bread (a sweet quick bread similar to carrot cake) which sounds like a good pairing to me. There's a restaurant somewhere that makes apple-butter-stuffed French toast. Let me try my hand at a method for making that:

    Apple Butter Stuffed French Toast
    mix egg with milk, vanilla, & cinnamon
    dip 2 slices bread in egg mixture
    fry bread on one side in a little oil/butter
    flip one slice of bread, smear thick layer of apple butter on top (cooked) side
    place other slice on top, cooked side down (now you have an apple butter sandwich with cooked insides and raw outsides, with one raw side down in the pan cooking)
    flip to cook other side of sandwich

    You can also make stuffed french toast by slicing a pocket in a thick slice of bread, but it's more work and the filling oozes out. I love a filling of raspberries, cream cheese, and powdered sugar in challah bread. For a good challah recipe, try "Sy's Challah" from allrecipes.com.

  • jiggy
    14 years ago

    Thank you very much Melva, and huge thanks for the recipe for the French toast, it sounds heavenly, I shall definitely be trying apple butter :o)

  • mccollja
    13 years ago

    I'm new to this forum and found this thread. I have a great recipe for apple butter that I got from my mom. She uses store bought unsweetened apple sauce in hers and I make my own apple sauce. The apple sauce and apple butter can be cooked in your crock pot! How easy is that and you can make a huge batch! I make the apple sauce by quartering the apples and heaping them in the crockpot. Once they cook down and become mushy, run them threw the sieve to remove seeds and peels. I measure and use for the Apple Butter recipe.

    Mom's Apple Butter

    4 cups apple sauce
    2 cups sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon cloves

    I cook in the crock pot til thicken (3-6 hours)
    You can double or triple this recipe depending on the size of your crock pot.

    Enjoy!

    Jan

  • susandonb
    13 years ago

    Last batch I made I cooked all day in the crock pot and added Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Oh Yeah....Yum, Yum!

    Susan in NC

  • castringer
    13 years ago

    Jan, I love making applebutter in the crockpot! This sounds somewhat like yours except without the step of making applesauce (Although I suppose you could stop it at the applesauce point and have crockpot appleauce.)

    Susan, adding Capt Morgan sounds wonderful. Lucky for me I am down to 1 jar of applebutter. I guess I need too make some more LOL

    All-Day Apple Butter

    5 1/2 lbs apples, cored and finely sliced
    4 cups white sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1.Place the apples in the crockpot. In a medium bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Pour mixture over the apples in the slow cooker and mix well.
    2.Cover and cook on high 1 hour
    3.Reduce heat to low and cook 9-11 hours, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
    4.Uncover and cook on low for 1 hour. Stir with a whisk, if desired to increase smoothness.
    5.Spoon mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate or freeze. Jars can also be processed in a water bath and then stored on the shelf.
    This pretty much fills up my 3 1/2 qt crockpot

  • mccollja
    12 years ago

    Susan and Castringer - I'm making a batch of apple butter today and yes - its going to cook all day in the crock pot. The apples I am using are really juicy so its really soupy right now. Smells good though. I'm curious about the Captain Morgan Rum addition - would be fun to try. If you get a minute, please post!

  • susandonb
    12 years ago

    Hi,
    I added 1 cup of Captain Morgans to a 3 qt crock pot. It came out very nice. About halfway through the cooking I tasted and added a bit more cinnamon and brown sugar. I don't recall amounts on the cinn and sugar I tend to do things by taste and eye rather than measure. Lately I try to measure and write down since more friends and people have been asking for my recipes.

    Let us know how it comes out. I am getting my apples next month and making mine.

    Susan

  • lisacdm
    12 years ago

    There are so many different types of apples - what kind do you use in apple butter?

    Lisa

  • ksrogers
    12 years ago

    I grow two kinds or apples here. Both are meant for cooking, baking and canning. Red Free and Williams Pride are the strains and both are greenish with a red blush. One is already ripened now, and they have all been picked. The other tree is also ready, as I saw a couple of 'falls'. They will all be picked this weekend. That means I must decide what to do with 2 bushels of apples.. Some will be made into apple pie filling, with no added spices or sweeteners, only some Clear Jel and ascorbic acid to help the color. The flavor and texture is slightly sweeter than a Granny Smith, but much crisper. Granny's tend to soften too much when cooked.

  • jude31
    11 years ago

    Question about processing apple butter cooked in crockpot, posted by castringer in '07 posting. How long for pints in BWB?
    Thanks in advance.
    Jude

  • readinglady
    11 years ago

    Since that apple butter has no added vinegar I would can as for applesauce.

    Carol

    Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP Applesauce

  • gran2
    11 years ago

    I've converted to the crockpot and now can whip up a batch of apple butter in nothing flat. The secret is in the method. I don't know why this method wouldn't work for any recipe of spices/seasonings.

    Chunk up peeled apples until the pot is full. (using standard size crockpot here) Mix spices and sugars together and pour on top. Put the lid on and let stand overnight (doing a little marinating and extracting of sugars and juices while I sleep). Next morning, plug the pot in for 6 hours. At the end of that time, whiz the butter in a food processor or blender and serve/store/can. Amazingly easy. NO mixing. NO stirring. NO peeking.

  • ksrogers
    11 years ago

    Adding a little cider vinegar can help raise acidity. My mom made the apple butter years ago with some brown sugar too. That gave it a nice color. Then there are red hots.. for those who like the heat of cinnamon.

  • flora_uk
    11 years ago

    OK - here's the situation. I have just cooked up a bagful of Bramleys to get juice for making mint jelly. For this they are only washed, not peeled, cored or anything else. Then I blast them in the pressure cooker and drip the splodge through a cheese cloth for the jelly liquid. I am left with a cloth full of apple pulp including all the extraneous bits. Here's the question - apple butter is not a thing we know about over here. Can I convert this puree into AB? I am thinking of putting it through my Mouli legumes to remove the pips, skins etc and then chucking in sugar and spice to taste. What do you think? Bear in mind that I am not expecting this stuff to keep other than in the freezer. Advice welcome. Flora.

  • readinglady
    11 years ago

    Actually, you may know of something similar if you've ever made a fruit cheese. Apple butter is just an apple cheese but slightly less firm.

    I don't see any reason why you can't use the drained pulp for your purposes.

    For my recipe I use 2:1 apple puree to sugar (combining Caster and Demerara). Sugar is sometimes reduced depending upon sweetness of apples.

    Spices are 4:2:1:1 cinnamon, mace, allspice, cloves. I use far less than many recipes. With long cooking the flavor intensifies and large amounts of spices can turn bitter. For 14 cups of puree I use as little as 1 teaspoon cinnamon and other spices in proportion.

    I begin cooking on the stovetop and finish in the oven so as not to worry about spattering. For a more intense flavor and to prevent initial sticking I add a little cider or boiled cider.

    Carol

    Here is a link that might be useful: Apple Cheese

  • ksrogers
    11 years ago

    Instead of mace, you can use nutmeg which is the nut, and mace is the outer wrap of the nutmeg. I would think that the hulls and seeds would be hard to remove unless you have a fine sieve. Because its also very dry now, the pulp could use some liquid, as in apple cider. The skins have some natural pectin so they may thicken it up a bit. try to remove the seeds, stems, snd waste, etc., before you puree.

  • flora_uk
    11 years ago

    Well thanks for all the ideas but unfortunately when I went to check the pulp it had started to grow whiskers so now it's on the compost heap. I think if I do try it in future it will be necessary to add a certain amount of liquid because, remember, as ksrogers says, this pulp is very dry having already had the juice extracted for jelly. As to removing the cores etc before boiling it up, that would be good for the apple butter, but not so good for the jelly-making, because it needs the pectin. It would need straining but not pureeing as Bramleys cook to a puree without any help. It is a high acid cooking apple that collapses within a few minutes of being heated. Anyway, the mint jelly is now done and cooling in its jars ready for my unhygienic Brit grease proof paper covers and lids. Thanks for your input - I'll bear the AB idea in mind.

  • ksrogers
    11 years ago

    If they offer frozen apple juice concentrate in stores there, you can have that added without diluting, and it will give flavor to the pulp. Here, I would cut and remove cores and seeds, then partially cook, but leave the skins on. Then run through a food strainer like The Villaware/Roma machine. These would give a texture like store bought apple sauce. My mom liked the apple butter quite brown, so she added dark brown sugar and a hint of molasses.

  • readinglady
    11 years ago

    unhygienic Brit grease proof paper covers and lids

    How funny.

    Carol

  • gran2
    11 years ago

    Flora -- I have indeed used that pulp for apple butter -- hate to waste just anything at all, you know. It was decent, but didn't have the "sparkle" that my apple butter usually has. It was a flat color and appearance, kinda like mud. If you closed your eyes, it was tasty, but not wonderful. Excellent as an ingredient for baking. I haven't done it since. Actually, I just make the butter and forget the jelly.

  • utahsnowflake
    11 years ago

    Okay, I am still in the experimenting and learning stages of canning. I made some apple butter the other day, and thought it was strange that the recipe called for vinegar. But now that I've seen a few posts mentioning vinegar, I thought I'd find out why. What is the purpose of vinegar, and are there any acceptable substitutes? Lime juice, for example. Does this apply to applesauce as well?

    Also, I'm planning on making another butter batch, but crock pot it this time. (Just scrubbed butter splatters off the walls.) Does that method need any altering of recipes? (More juice, less juice etc...)

    Thanks!

  • david52 Zone 6
    11 years ago

    It maybe a bit out of sequence (sorry utahs.f.) but I keep meaning to post my experiences this season with apple butter, which is highly popular around here.

    I used Roma apples - roughly chopped, wormy bits (few) removed, and enough to fill a 3 gal stock pot, stems, seeds, skin and all. Added a couple cups of water and simmered on low until soft, 2-3 hours. Let that cool overnight, then I ran it all through the tomato strainer, resulting in a thick applesauce, seeds, skin, and stems removed.

    I ladled all that out (approx two gallons)and used the dehydrator to make fruit leather. Started another batch of chopped apples in the stock pot.

    The next morning, the leather was done, the chopped apples cooked and cooled, so I made apple sauce from that, tore up the sheets of fruit leather, and added brown sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of lime juice and put the whole thing in the 2+ gal crock pot. Turned it on 'high' until it started to blurble, turned it on low. It was all done, deep brown and so thick a fork would stand up in it, that evening, 7 hours later. Yield was 13 pints.

    So, I dunno, I still used a lot of electricity, with simmering the stock pot twice for a total of 6 hours, 14 hours of food dehydrator, and another 7 hours of crock pot. Pretty good stuff, though. We did this twice, used about 2 bushels of apples, and ended up with 30 pints.

    It seemed to me that cooking the peels and all made for lots of pectin, which thickened it up. It was really easy to run it all through the strainer, only took a few minutes. Making fruit leather with half of it kept the intense apple flavor, which went back into the final result.

    I think we'll do this the next time as well.

  • digdirt2
    11 years ago

    utahsnowflake - there are several tested and approved recipes for apple butter - some require vinegar and some don't - but I don't know of any that include lemon juice or lime juice instead of vinegar. That doesn't mean there isn't one though so as long as you are using an approved and tested recipe you'll be fine. ;)

    Those calling for the vinegar is only for the pre-cooking so it serves several purposes - flavor, acidification safety, and breaking down the apples for a smoother texture. We have found over the years that without it you end up with a more coarse textured product - just a matter of taste I guess - so we prefer the NCHFP recipe using vinegar.

    Lemon juice (bottled) is required when using windfall apples for applesauce (optional if not windfalls) because of the higher pH of windfalls so it may very well work in apple butter too. Can't say for sure because I don't find an approved recipe for its use.

    As to the crockpot cooking - it isn't generally recommended but it seems to have worked for Dave above. You'd have to leave the lid off so the moisture could escape or it will never cook down and of course it will have to cook quite a bit longer. Not sure what it would gain you but if you had a splattering problem then a deeper pot or a lower heat would sure to make a difference. But I surely wouldn't modify the tested recipe just because I was cooking it in a crockpot. Stick with the recipe.

    Dave

    Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Apple Butter

  • readinglady
    11 years ago

    I don't use vinegar or lemon juice; if I need additional liquid to cook down the apples I use water or apple cider.

    Unless you're using windfalls or other overripe or bruised apples I don't see that vinegar is necessary. You have an acidic fruit, long cooking which dispels a good deal of the water and then you add quite a lot of sugar. The only risk (if any) is mold.

    I finish my apple butter in the oven at low temps but a crockpot will certainly work fine.

    Carol

  • ksrogers
    11 years ago

    If you do use vinegar, the apple cider type would be less obtrusive.

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