Apple Butter

I really have to apologize for posting so many recipes that involve jars, but since it’s what I’ve been spending most of my time doing lately…well, that’s all I really have for you.

Now, that being said, we have a three-day weekend beginning tomorrow (Columbus Day here in the U.S. – they can’t shut that down, although I suppose they would try if they thought it would piss enough people off), and I plan to take advantage of the time off and cook quite a bit.  I have an idea for a seasonal dessert that I hope will blow your socks off, so everyone keep your fingers crossed.

Anyhoo, we’ve begun the yearly processing of the apples, which means more applesauce and more of this, as well – wonderfully rich and smooth Apple Butter.

Last year when I made it, I wondered what I’d do with it all, but it turns out it came in quite handy – it’s great in poultry and pork recipes.  It has also been appreciated by the bread eaters in the family, who occasionally enjoy a nut butter sandwich or a piece of toast.  If you have no problem with dairy, it’s great stirred into yogurt or cottage cheese, as a topping for ice cream, or poured on top of a baked brie.  This year, I’m going to use it to try and get a certain grandson to eat more vegetables – it would make a great dip for sweet pepper strips and carrot sticks.

Because, y’all, this is just about the best apple butter I’ve ever tasted.

Yes, it does have a little added sweetener – you could sub coconut sugar for the evaporated cane juice if you wanted, although I’d probably increase the amount to 3/4 cup – but if you want to go sugar free, you could.  It’ll just be a tad more tart and a little less “rich” tasting, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  But the small amount of unrefined sugar along with the cinnamon just take this over the top; it is just that good.

If you do leave the sugar out, this should be Whole30 compliant (I’m not sure if they consider this a no-no…and I’m not sure I care).

Note:  You can make apple butter from applesauce; the amount of apples given in this recipe will make about a quart of applesauce, so that is the how much you should use for this recipe – simply omit the first 3 steps of the recipe.  If you use sweetened applesauce, omit the evaporated cane juice.

Apple Butter. Rich and sweet, homemade apple butter couldn't be easier to make completely from scratch.

Click the image to enlarge

Apple Butter
[i]Makes about 3 cups[/i]
  • 3 pounds assorted apples – the sweeter the better
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. Remove the stems from the apples, and quarter them – do not peel or core them. Add the apples and water to a large stock pot that is large enough to hold all of the fruit with room to spare, as the apples will expand as they cook.
  2. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle.
  3. Working in batches, push the cooked apples and liquid through a a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the skins and seeds, or process through a food mill (again, discarding the skins and seeds).
  4. Transfer the applesauce to a large saucepan; stir in the evaporated cane juice and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened and reduced by about a third (the apple butter will continue to thicken as it cools).
  5. Makes about 3 cups and can be frozen or processed in water bath canner for 20 minutes.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 44 calories, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, <1mg sodium, 63.2mg potassium, 11.6g carbohydrates, 1.5g fiber, 9.4g sugar, <1g protein

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