I had about 10 pounds of apples hanging around the house after my sister and I went apple picking when she came to visit. I knew that between Alex and I we wouldn’t be able to eat 10 pounds worth of apple pie!
I thought canning some apples would be fun. I could practice putting jars in a water bath to seal them and we’d have lots of apples throughout the winter. I made apple sauce all the time before I started the blog so I decided I wanted to try something a little more advanced. I had good experiences making jelly back in London so Apple Butter seemed liked a challenging and tasty next project. Spreadable apples, what’s not to like! I’m fond of this apple butter spread on my favorite cornbread recipe but it tastes great on bagels too.
I had a terrible time trying to find a canning basket. I didn’t want to buy an entire canner and no store seemed to carry all the necessary supplies. In the end I bought this canning basket from Amazon and a starter kit from Walmart. From start to finish it seemed to take half of the day. Give yourself enough time. I’m not an expert in canning so make sure to read up on it before you get started. This is only a brief guide on my experience.
4 1/2 pounds apples (peeled, cored and quartered)
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
- In a large stainless steel pot place the apples and apple cider. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Give the apples a stir occasionally.
- Pour the apples into a food processor or food mill. Puree until mostly smooth (don't liquefy but you can keep the mixture slightly chunky if you wish).
- Combine the apple puree, sugar and cinnamon in a large (clean) stainless steel saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer until the mixture thickens (this can take almost 2 hours).
- Test the apple butter is ready by placing a saucer and teaspoon in the freezer. Use the cold spoon to place a small amount of jam on the cold saucer. If it wrinkles and is of a jam like spreadable consistency with a knife it's ready.
- Get your canner and jars ready. I washed and sterilized 5 half liter mason jars (better to have a few extra ready in case). Keep the jars warm either in hot (not boiling) water or in a hot dishwasher.
- Spoon hot apple butter into the jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove the air bubbles and remeasure the headspace. Wipe the rim of the jar. Center the lid on and screw the band to fingertip tightness.
- Process the filled jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and turn the heat off and wait. After 5 minutes remove the jars. Leave to cool for 12-24 hours and then store in a cool, dark cupboard.
- The jars should keep for 6-12 months. If any jars did not seal during the canning process, refrigerate and use within a few weeks.
adapted from Ball’s