Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Oh how I love you, Apple Butter

After the Adventures at the Farmer's Market I had several pounds of beautiful cameo and granny smith apples, the great intention of making apple butter, and a brand spanking new pressure canner. There are a few flaws in this though, as I don't had no idea how to make apple butter and have never canned anything in my life.

Luckily for me, both issues where solved pretty quickly. I found a Apple Butter recipe in my Canning for Dummies book, and started reading through. 8 Large apples (I had 10), check. Ground cinnamon? Check. Sugar, canning salt? Check and Check. Cinnamon sticks...Apple cider? Crap. 30 mins. and one trip to the grocer later, I'm ready to put the plan in action.

I peeled 5 apples with a vegetable peeler, and was working on a pretty good hand cramp when my mom called. I was complaining about the peeler I bought when she very sweetly reminded me that was why we always used knifes. I promptly defended my vegetable peeler, and as quietly as I could grabbed my parring knife.

I finally had all the apples peeled, cored and sliced. I brought 4 cups of cider to a boil, dumped in the sliced apples brought it to a simmer and walked away. No, really. I stirred every once in a while for 45 minutes. Then I tossed in the salt, sugar, cinnamon and the cinnamon stick and walked away. Again. Then I funneled it into hot jars (it made just about 3 pints) threw on the (hot) lids and bands, and poof. Apple Butter.

I decided to pressure cook it because 1) I'm terrified I'm going to poison my friends and family and 2) I wanted to get the hang of it so when the veggies come in, I'm not panicking. Got the canner set up fine, and didn't have a single problem with the actual process. Gracie and I purchased the same canner, and in place of a pressure gauge this particular model has a pressure regulator. Which to me if a fancy way to say "weighted plug". You pick the pressure level you need, set the rings and go. It worked great, and was it was comforting to hear it whistling away on the stove. After their allotted time in the steam, I pulled the jars out, set them aside and let them cool overnight. Tested the seals, and they seem perfect. Today a friend of mine is coming by to pick up his freezer jam, and I'm going to give him some of the apple butter and canned pears as well. He loves it, so I know he'll be a good critic on how to change around the recipe if I need to.

Ladies and gentleman, I'm pleased to announce Operation Can Like Mad is a go.

1 comment:

  1. Maggy, google "jacky clay" she is to preparedness foods and canning what Michael Jordan is to basketball. She has done a few articles on basic canning with a pressure cooker. And ooodles of recipes and ideas.


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