Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Apple Butter

Today's photo was submitted by Heather, and it shows her grandmother and grandfather making Apple Butter. It looks like they are mixing it in a big kettle over a fire. They did this from the apples they grew in their orchard. Hmmm . . . growing your own food and being self-reliant - what an interesting concept. Sounds like it is still a tradition in Heather's family to make apple butter about this time of year.


  1. Bless her heart, it looks as if Granny is wearing her husband's shoes.
    Making apple butter is a non-stop job. If it scorches, it is simply not fit for human consumption, so it had to be stirred constantly. Ah, but when it was finished...

  2. We still make it every year although we don't have Grandpa's orchard anymore. The property was sold and made into subdivisions, but when I have driven by I've noticed many of the houses still have an apple tree or two. Next week the family will gather and make the apple butter again. And you are right...it has to be constantly stirred with a big paddle.

  3. Heather - great photo.

    nd I LOVE apple butter. You can get it at some of the farm stands around here. It's much better than either applesauce or jam.

    Wish you could send me some . . .

  4. Apple butter is especially good on pound cake!!!! Yum!!

  5. Yum, apple butter on cottage pudding with a bit of cheese on the side and a cup of tea.... it has to be home made apple butter. Store bought, even so called gourmet, organic, old fashioned, etc just isn't right.
    I hope you will have a picture of people making sauerkraut because making my own sauerkraut and kim chee is high on my list of things to learn. :-)

  6. Anonymous, my mom used to make our sauerkraut using a wooden rectangular frame with blades to cut the slaw. Then she put it in a large crock for about a week (I think). It was very good!

    SmartGirl I'm not sure if I'm going to the Apple Butter making this year, I'm pretty sure I'll be working, although I'd love to send you a jar.

    My grandpa had an old cider mill on the back portion of their property. He made the most delicious cider. Long after grandpa died and no one made cider there anymore, I would walk through the mill and it still had that strong tart apple smell. The fragrance absorbed in to the very walls and floor. They built a little log cabin next to their home where they sold fruits, vegetables, and cider for many years. (Called it the Log Cabin Market - imagine that!)

  7. Heather thanks for sharing the picture. My wife was just talking about making apple butter again, so I'll share this photo with her when I get home. Yum!

  8. What a lovely photo Heather.
    I have never heard of Apple Butter before but will be on the lookout at farmers markets around home now.

  9. Yup, I've got a cabbage slicer from eBay and the local thrift store is going to call me when they get a nice deep crock.
    A decent jar of sauerkraut is so expensive!

  10. We lived in an apple orchard for several years when I was growing up. I loved apple butter - still do.

    Great picture.

  11. I was given a bag of small Granny Smith apples - too small for peeling and making pie. And then I found a recipe for microwave apple butter, which does away with the scorching problem.

    Microwave Apple Butter
    This recipe does away with steamy hours spent stirring over a hot stove and the crushing disappointment when a carefully tended batch scorches in a moment of distraction.

    Season: Late summer to fall
    Yield: About 2 cups
    Store: Refrigerator (2 months)

    1 1/2 pounds apples, quartered
    1/2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 whole allspice berries
    3 whole cloves
    Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
    Generous pinch of kosher salt
    1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

    Combine all ingredients in a glass 8- by 8-inch dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cook at 100% for 15 minutes.

    Remove from oven and purée the now softened fruit in a food processor; take care to avoid being burned by hot spatters. Press the purée through a fine sieve to remove any skins and the whole spices; cook, uncovered at 100% for 10 minutes longer.

    Remove from oven and pack the hot butter into hot, sterilized pint jars and cover with a tight lid. Let stand until cool and store refrigerated for up to 2 months.

    Microwave apple butter recipe from Canning & Preserving Your Own Harvest, by Carla Emery & Lorene Edwards Forkner, 2009 Sasquatch Books.

    So thanks for the inspiration!

  12. My recipe is for stove top and includes 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar per pound of apples. If you taste it the next day it's very vinegary. But a few days later the flavors have melded and no vinegar taste at all. Be sure to include the cores and skins for pectin and flavor.
    I think some people prepare it in a crockpot to avoid burning. Fill the crockpot with chopped apples and spices, cook on high for a couple hours then low for 10 hours. I suppose one could then process it in jars, or else it's strictly refrigerator /freezer storage.