As summer winds down, Apple season is just starting. We had such a blast this weekend. Wayne and I had decided to make Apple Butter and needed apples, so off we went Styers Orchard to buy some. Now many of you from this area might have known that Styers Market http://www.styersmarket.com/and Styers Orchard Inc. http://www.styerorchard.com/ are not run by the same people. Who knew, not us. Anyway, we went to the market to get our apples and although the market was lovely, we bought Apple Cider Donuts, (to die for by the way) They didn’t have the apples in the quantity we wanted. They suggested we go to the farm, that was down at the end of the driveway. Wayne and I had some time so we decided to see what they had to offer. The Field family now manages the Orchard and the land is owned by Middletown Township. https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/article/20101022/lifestyle/310229926#:~:text=Ironically%2C%20the%20free%20business%20at,Pop%20Styer%2C%20died%20in%201999. On the day that we visited they were harvesting or allowing customers to pick Golden Delicious Apples. So we hopped on the wagon pulled by a tractor and took a ride out to the Apple Orchard to pick our apples.
Together (I did pick some, I was the camera person) we picked about 21 pounds.
We have never used Golden Delicious but we were told that they were a good all purpose apple and would be good for our Apple butter. So today we set out to make our Apple Butter, and true to their word they worked out perfectly. These apples don’t break down very much so there is very little liquid. We followed the Ball Canning Recipe and as always it came out perfect. I am going to list the steps with pictures and give you the recipe for the Apple Butter but I highly suggest you get the Ball Canning Book, they give you all the information needed to can successfully.
First up you will need about 4 pounds of Apples, 4 Cups of Sugar, 2 Tablespoons of Cinnamon, and 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Clove. That’s it. This will give you 12 Jelly jars. The book tells you that you should get 3 pints, that is 6 Jelly jars. Not sure why we got so many more, but I think it was the type of apple. So just be prepared in case you get more than 3 pints.
- To create the pulp, you will need to wash the apples. Then you will need peel, core and quarter the apples. We used a Kitchen Aid attachment (a gift from my children) to peel the apples, but we have done our share of hand peeling as well…
If you are going to make more than one batch DO NOT PEEL ALL THE APPLES AT ONCE. They will get brown and you don’t want that.
2. Once the Apples are prepared. Combine the Apples with 2 cups of water in a large sauce pan.
3. Simmer until apples are soft. Puree using a food processor or food mill, but be careful not to liquefy. At this point, with the Golden Delicious, we found that using a potato masher worked, but know that our Apple Butter came chunky, we like it that way. If you want it smooth you will need to use the food processor or food mill.
The Book tells you to measure out 2 quarts, we found that it was 2 quarts so we didn’t measure the second time. If you read any of my blogs you will know that I roll that way. But if you feel the need measure out 2 quarts.
5. To make Apple Butter: Combine Apple pulp , Sugar and spices in a large sauce pan, (we used the same pot we cooked the apples in)
6. Cook Slowly until thick enough to mound on a spoon. Basically if you turn the spoon upside down and the apple butter doesn’t immediately fall off you are good. This is a trial and error for us. but know that it does cook in a hot bath for 10 more minutes so as long as you have a thick consistency you should be good.
7. As the mixture thickens make sure that you stir frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
8. Ladle hot Butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remvoe air bubbles.
9. Adjust two piece caps.
10. Process 10 minutes in a boiling -water canner.
11. Remove from canner and let cool the lids will pop, indicating they have sealed properly
Again I highly recommend getting a Ball Canning reference cookbook, the link is below.
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial on canning apple butter. We have so much fun doing this together. Not often can you find an inexpensive activity that will give you something to enjoy all winter long. And as I always say please:
Enjoy the Journey…..