Apple Butter

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Preserving Method: Water Bath Canning

 

  1. CORE and peel apples. Cut apples into quarters.
  2. COMBINE apples and water in a large saucepan. Cook apples at a simmer until soft. Puree mixture using an electric food strainer or food mill. Measure 2 quarts of apple pulp; return apple pulp to saucepan. Add sugar and spices, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook at a gentle boil over medium heat until apple mixture is thick enough to mound on a spoon, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. If mixture becomes too thick, add a small amount of water or apple juice for desired consistency. Remove from heat.
  3. LADLE hot butter into a hot jar, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and adjust band to finger-tip tight. Place jar  in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  4. LOWER the rack into simmering water. Water must cover jars by 1 inch. Adjust heat to medium-high, cover canner and bring water to a rolling boil. Process half-pint or pint jars 10 minutes. Turn off heat and remove cover. Let jars cool 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner; do not retighten bands if loose. Cool 12 hours. Check seals. Lids should not press up and down when center is pressed. Label and store jars.

Tip: Do you have a fondness for robust flavors? If so, substitute a portion of white granulated sugar with light or dark brown sugar to impart a little taste of molasses.