Monday, November 19, 2012

Apple Butter - Regular and Cinnamon Red Hots

This is an easy and delicious way to use up a bounty of fall apples from the orchard or your local fruit stand.  I am making some with the cinnamon candies and some without.  Enjoy!

Wash and quarter apples. Discard any that are infested.

In a large stock pot add the prepared apples along with enough water or apple cider or apple juice to keep from scorching and cook the apples until they are soft.  Stir frequently.

If you may get distracted or need to leave the house for the day, you can also cook the apples down using a crock pot or slow cooker.  I have personally never tried this method but I do know a few people that make applesauce this way.

Cool apples completely! 

Push cooled apples through a colander to make applesauce. Return to large stock pot.

To make apple butter:

For every 16 cups of applesauce add
8 cups sugar
3 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. allspice (if you have it - good but not necessary)
1/2 c. Red Hots™   candy - The Red Hots are optional, but they do give the apple butter a pretty colour and enhance the flavour.
If if the apples are very sweet add about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar  

SLOWLY Cook this mixture down, uncovered until thick enough to spread.
This could take 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours, depending on how much you are making. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.

Prepare pint,  half-pint or jelly sized canning jars according to manufactures instructions.  I usually wash them in hot, soapy water, rinse well and then heat, upside-down, in a large flat-bottomed pan.  I put the clean self-sealing lids in a pan of water and allow to simmer.  Watch that these don't boil dry. 
Pour into 1/2 pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4" headspace, and seal. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.