Homemade Apple Butter
Apple butter is kind of a cross between a jam and homemade applesauce. The rich flavor and wonderful aroma of this apple butter can transform a plain piece of toast into something decadent.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Processing time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 half-pints
8 large apples (about 4 to 4 1/2 pounds)
3 1/2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher or pickling salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3-inch cinnamon stick
Peel, core, and slice the apples.
Place the cider in a 5- to 6-quart pot and bring it to a boil over high heat.
Add the apple slices and reduce the heat.
Simmer the fruit, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
Stir the fruit every 10 to 15 minutes to prevent sticking.
Stir in the sugar, salt, and the ground and stick cinnamon.
Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 20 to 25 minutes.
The consistency should be like applesauce.
Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.
Prepare your canning jars and two-piece caps (lids and screw bands) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Keep the jars and lids hot.
Ladle your hot fruit into the prepared jars, leaving headspace of 1/4 inch.
Release any air bubbles with a nonreactive tool.
Wipe the jar rims.
Seal the jars with the two-piece caps, hand-tightening the bands.
Process the filled jars in a water bath for 15 minutes from the point of boiling.
Remove the jars from the boiling water with a jar lifter.
Place them on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels away from drafts.
After the jars cool completely, test the seals.
If you find jars that haven’t sealed, refrigerate them and use them within two months.