I have made all of these recipes myself. I always try to show the original source of the recipe, but am constantly editing them to suit our tastes (so technically they should all say "Adapted from..."). The portions are generally small since my family doesn't consume much food in one sitting.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Apple Butter

This apple butter is the most divine thing I've ever tasted! Well, for apple butter, that is. For the record, there is no butter in "apple butter." It should really be called "apple jam." The first batch I made turned out really dark (left) the second really light (right). I might have added some jonathan apples in the first batch. I know I cooked that one longer and added more sugar. But my preference is the second, lighter batch. Here is that recipe:

*This made 5.5 pints of apple butter. Since the canner fits 7 pints, the parentheses show the amounts I'll be trying next time to make 7 pints.

5.5 lb apples, peeled, cored, chopped* (try 7 lb)

2 c white sugar (keep at 2c?)

2 tsp ground cinnamon (try 2.5 tsp)

¼ tsp ground cloves (try ½ tsp)

¼ tsp salt

Prepare apples** and place in a slow cooker (I start with 2 slow cookers and combine when the apples are cooked down enough to fit in one). Stir in sugar, spices and salt. Cover and cook on high 2 hours. Reduce heat to low and cook 5-6 hours more, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown. If needed (if mixture is too runny), uncover and continue cooking on low 1 hour. Stir with a whisk (or handheld blender) to increase smoothness. Spoon mixture into hot pint-sized jars leaving ¼” head space. Add lids and rings and process in hot water bath 20 minutes.

*I used Golden Delicious apples. I weighed them before peeling and coring. (1st attempt: 3# after peeling and coring made 3 pints. 2nd attempt 5.5 lb before peel & core = 5.5 pints.)

**Rather than peeling and coring the apples, you can quarter them, cook them in an inch of water in a pot on the stove until soft and run them through a food strainer, or in other words, make applesauce first and then cook it down.

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