Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweet Cider Apple Butter

This was more work than I anticipated-about 4 hours start to finish, and most of it on my feet stirring. My neck and shoulder are destroyed (they already were, but now the disk is messed-up for sure) but I have five pints of the sweetest, loveliest, apple butter made from Cortland apples from the beautiful state of Wisconsin. They're almost as good as my beloved Illinois Golden Delicious-almost.

The recipe is from the Ball Blue Book, and it says the yield is four pints but I got five. It never hurts to have an extra jar in the canner waiting to go.

You Will Need:

6 pounds of apples (about 24 medium)
2 cups sweet cider
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Prepare pulp:

Wash apples. core, peel and quarter apples. Combine apples and cider in a large pot and simmer until soft. Put apples through a food mill taking care not to liquefy. Measure three quarts of pulp.

Place pulp, sugar and spices in a large pot and cook slowly until thick enough to mound up on a spoon. Be warned-this wil spit, no matter what you do so be prepared for a good clean-up job and wear long sleeves. Expect a few burns. You will pretty much need to stir the entire time-so grab a comfortable pair of shoes and a spoon with a very long handle.

Ladle hot butter into hot jars, remove bubbles and wipe clean. Process ten minutes plus altitude adjustments in a boiling water canner. Let cool five minutes in canner, then remove and let cool 12-24 hours before checking for seals.

Then go take some pain medication and collapse.

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