Fall turns into winter and the instinct to put food away kicks in. Perhaps like me you’ve visited your favorite apple orchard or can resist the huge variety of apples in the store.
I decided to foray into canning this year. Except for watching my mother can way back when I was a toddler, I was a novice. Conveniently, a family friend has become one of the most popular canning experts in the country! Head on over to Food in Jars to get instructions on canning from Marisa McClellan.
I started with the a half bushel of Courtland apples that I picked up at Allenholm Farm at Pam’s suggestion for sauce and butter. The first step to making apple butter is making apple sauce, which I describe here. I wanted to make enough to give to friends for the holidays so I started with this recipe from Its Not Easy Eating Green.
Vermont Maple Bourbon Apple Butter [Original recipe makes 4 cups. Scaled recipe in ( ) makes ~14 full 4oz jars].
6 cups (6 quarts) unsweetened apple sauce from Vermont apples
1/2 cup (8 cups… or less) apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup (I substituted maple syrup) granulated white sugar
3/4 cup (12 cups) Vermont maple syrup
1/2 cup (8 cups or less) bourbon
2 teaspoons (10 tablespoons) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (5 tablespoons) ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon (1 1/4 tablespoons) ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon (2 teaspoons) ground allspice
Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker set to high. Once an hour stir the apple butter scraping down all the sides and bottom of the slow cooker. Repeat this process for 4-5 hours or until the mixture is very thick and dark. To tell when the apple butter is done, drop a small spoonful of it on a plate and wait a minute or two. When the apple butter is done, a liquid ring will no longer ooze to the outside of the drop of apple butter; it will stay solid. Store in the refrigerator. Or, to can, carefully pour into in sterilized jars and process for ten minutes in a hot water bath. For larger batches, turn slow cooker to low after 4-6 hours and prop lid open with the handle of a wooden spoon. Use the test above to tell when the butter is done.