I love apple butter. In fact, the apple butter is the number one reason why Cracker Barrel is among my favorite restaurants. Apple butter is great on biscuits and even better on a spoon.
Apple butter is a great use for cull apples. These apples my wonderful MIL brought back from the orchard are really too pretty for such a fate, but then again…
They sliced up beautifully in my handy-dandy apple peeler, slicer, coring super-duper machine. I used the coring and slicing part of the machine, opting to leave the skins.
And into the crock pot they go, all 18 of them.
Add about 1 cup of apple cider, 3 cups of sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of cloves and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. It looks good already.
It cooked on high all day long. The smell was unbelievable. Rich. Intoxicating. Delicate. It made me want to dig into the pan with a spoon. So, I did. I was even nice and shared a bowl with the kids.
This is the beauty that greeted me after we put the kids into bed, about 10 hours after I cut up the apples and turned on the crock pot. Almost perfect.
Using a food mill gives the apple butter that perfect texture. My food mill came from an country estate auction. I love auctions and using this food mill brings back good memories. I kind of think using this old food mill honors the memory of the country lady who used it before me, too. Anyway…
And, into pretty little jars it goes.
Then, into the hot tub (boiling water bath) for 10 minutes.
Yummy apple butter and the perfect, easy recipe for a busy momma of four.
~Preserving your own food is not rocket science. If you are interested in storing away some of the season’s best, be sure to get a good book about canning. The Ball Blue Book is the standard, go-to book. I also love a book called Putting Food By. I adore this book because it has a ton of information about preserving foods and a tremendous number of recipes.
There are so many resources to learn food preservation. As always, I encourage you to try canning. Just be sure to read the directions carefully and follow them meticulously (especially until you get the hang of it) so that you’ll be sure to end up with a safe and delicious product.
Have fun in the kitchen and try something new!
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