Thursday, October 13, 2011

Recipe Thursday: My Mom's Apple Butter

Recipe 6/16 for my 30 before 30 challenge!

Growing up, I didn't spend a lot of time in the kitchen learning how to cook. I actually didn't figure out I liked cooking until after my undergrad was done. There are a few recipes that my mom made growing up that I absolutely loved, one of those is her apple butter. We had an apple tree at our house, and there was an abundance of apples, so mom made apple butter. I loved the smooth texture and her seasonings were always perfect. After I moved out, I tried some store bought apple butter and threw away the jar. Sorry Smuckers, you don't have anything on my mama.

Two or three weeks ago, I was cruising around the web and I found a Crockpot apple butter recipe. I thought I would call mom up, get her recipe, and use the Crockpot method to cook it. Mom said that was stupid. I should just make hers. (I already said we never used a Crockpot growing up.) She said she would look for the recipe and get it to me. Last week I got a card in the mail, and inside was this:
My mom, like a lot of people, keeps her recipes on 3x5 cards. (I already told you here how I am keeping mine.) She says that you know which recipes are the good ones because they are the ones that have food splatters all over them, and you can barely read it any more. Her apple butter is one of those recipes. She rewrote the card out, and sent me my own copy.

The Ingredients:

4 pounds apples (Apples are usually about a 1/2 pound each, so about 8. Mine were small so it took 10. Mom also says that Macintosh apples are the best, but Fuji's will do. Mine are locally grown Fuji's)
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Sterile Canning Jars- Mom says this makes 3 pints. Somehow I got 4 out of it. I used wide mouth 1/2 pint jars. Mom approved of my choice.

Start by cutting the apples into eighths, removing the core. Leave the skin on unless you think its icky or you like a lot of extra work.

Take 1/2 cup of the cider and add it to a blender. Add a handful of the apple pieces. Blend. Add more apple pieces. Blend some more. Continue with this until 1/2 the apples are blended smooth. This takes awhile. This is called apple butter. You want the consistency to be as close to butter like as possible. When the blender is full, pour it into a large pot. Finish blending the rest of the apples and the other 1/2 cup of cider like you did before.

Mine is not nearly smooth enough. I ended up putting it all back in the blender for longer.
When it is as smooth as you want, add the sugar and seasoning to the pot and cook on low heat for 45 minutes to an hour.
After it is cooked, pour it into sterilized jars. Put the lid on, and screw the top down. No water bath needed. As the apple butter cools, you will hear popping sounds as the lids seal. You know that they are sealed when you press on the top and it doesn't "pop" at you.

So, how was it?
Yummy! I've been eating it on toast in the morning, as well as some PB& apple butter sammies at lunch time. It's not exactly the same as what I remember, but still much better than the store bought stuff!

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