Its apple season again! Now that I don’t have the dread of the return to school, I love the fall! Its all about apples, pumpkins, crisp mornings and eating lots of food to “bulk” up for the winter. I got a good 10 lbs to pack on so I can survive my winter hibernation. Lets get started. Just kidding guys, this recipe won’t bulge your bellies as long as moderation is kept in mind AND you can now enjoy your apples GLUTEN FREE.**
Slow Cooked Apple Butter
makes 12 pins
20-25 lbs apples, skinned and cored
6 c. apple cider or juice (or 4 c. water)
4 c. sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp all spice
You can use whatever apples you want for this, but a sweet apple is best. The softer it is, like a Mac will cook faster. If you use something hard like honey crisp, you will just have to cook it a bit longer and use a blender to help break down the pulp. But just go with your bad apple self. There are no RULES.
Wash, skin and core your apples.
Put apples and cider in large 5 gallon cooking pot and bring to a boil. If you don’t have a pot that big, get one. If you can’t get one, use two pots. Or half the recipe. Or you can choose to go to another recipe where they don’t do everything in bulk.
Cook apples down on medium heat until they begin to form apple sauce, about 1-2 hours.
Add sugar and stir until sugar is melted. Add spices and stir. Bring heat down to low and cook uncovered to allow excess water to evaporate. Cook until the apple butter has thickened. Joy of cooking describes consistency as: sheeting from a spoon and suggest for testing, “putting a small quantity on a plate. When no rim of liquid separates around the edges of the butter, it is done.”
For my part, I cook for about 6 hours after I add the sugar, stirring occasionally to keep from burning to the bottom of the pot. I let it cool overnight and when I test it in the morning, its good to go.
Place in sterile jars and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.