A fruitful recipe from America. Fresh, sweet and perfect topper for almost anything.
Every year I try to make or buy (from a fellow crafter) handmade items to give as gifts for Yule / Christmas. This will be gifted to family and close friends. But you can make it any time of the year.
Thanks to Janie who sent me the recipe, my British son's American 'other mother' aka his mother-in-law. I was given permission to share and wanted to share it with you all.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
Prep and cooking time - about 12 to 14 hour using a croc or slow cooker. But worth every minute
Cooking time is significantly reduced (by almost half) if using the hob.
Suitable for canning or freezing
Step 1: You Will Need
- 5 1/2 lbs apples
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground or grated nutmeg
- 1-2 teaspoons ground or minced ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar [or you can use apple cider or apple juice]
- I used a potato peeler (optional)
- Apple corer (optional)
- A potato masher or whisk
- A sharp vegetable knife
- A large crock pot or slow cooker - see below**
- Jars - my mixture filled seven 300ml jars
- Wooden spoon
- A blender
Other optional items:
- Celophane - for gift wrap
- Ribbon - also for gift wrap
- Labels (to put the name of the yummyness that's in the jars and the date you was made)
** If you don't have a large enough crock pot (aka slow cooker here in the UK), like me, you can use a large heavy pan or a "jam pan" for the hob. If you are going to use a "hob crock" or "jam pan", check on it more often as cooking time is reduced to just a few hours - by almost half
Step 2: Prepare Your Apples
Peel, core and dice apples (I just sliced them) and place in a large bowl.
Don't throw away peelings.
I used a mixture of eating apples with an additional two Bramley apples to make up the weight and to add a little sharpness to the end taste as I'm not overly keen on things too sweet.
Step 3: Add Sugar, Spices and Salt
Combine sugar with spices and salt.
Pour over apples and mix well.
Step 4: Blend Peel With Apple Cider Vinegar and Pour Over Apples
Place 2 - 3 cups of apple peelings into a blender. I used a smoothie maker / blender.
Add apple cider vinegar, or your cider or juice and blend to a smoothie consistency.
Pour over apples and mix well.
Step 5: Place in Crock Pot and Start to Cook
Place in a large crock pot, cover and cook on high for one hour.
On the hob, cook on a medium to high heat.
As you can see, my crock pot is for the hob, so I boiled mine for the hour. When I took off the lid the delicious, aroma filled my whole house!
So I sat back and enjoyed the ongoing experience.
Step 6: Reduce Heat and Cook Further
Decrease heat to low on the pot and continue to cook for 11+ hours.
If using the hob, simmer gently for a few hours and check regularly.
Stir occasionally and use potato masher or whisk as apples soften.
Continue to cook until it thickens and becomes dark brown.
Uncover and cook on a low heat for a further hour until desired consistency is reached.
Place a spoofull onto a saucer and allow to cool, if you like the consistency, then it's done!
You don't want this to be as thick as a jam, you need it to be a little runny.
- As I used brown sugar, mine is already going to be dark, so make sure you cook and check often during these 11 or so hours. You want to be sure that it thickens and the apples and any small bits of peel soften.
- Hob cooking will reduce the cooking time considerably, check often as it could be reduced by hours!
Safety: This will have a tendency to "spit and splutter" when stiring, take care!
Step 7: Prepare Your Jars
Whilst this is simmering with the lid off, sterilise your jars
- Heat oven to 140*C / Gas mark 1
- Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water
- Rinse off well
- Place on baking sheet into the oven until completely dry
- If using Kilner jars, or ones with rubber seals, boil the rubber seals. Don't put them in the oven as the dry heat will damage them
Step 8: Can Up (or Freeze)
If freezing: Remember to leave 1/2 inch head space when filling containers.
- Take a lid and jar out of the oven, use an oven glove to hold then
- Spoon hot mixture in
- Leave 1/2 inch head space when filling
- Place lid (and ring) on jar and tighten
- Crumple aluminium foil and place in the bottom of a large pot
- Place filled jars into pot on top of foil (prevents burning of contents)
- Fill with hot water to the jar rings
- Boil for 10 minutes
- Remove and allow to cool.
- Check to be certain lids ‘pop’ to seal
Step 9: Dress Jars (optional)
I cut a circle of light, gingham fabric and use string or an elastic band to secure.
Tie or stick a label on the jar and put the date made on it too.
Step 10: Enjoy
Try on toast with butter, on pancakes, waffles, with peanut butter, even with cottage cheese or cream cheese!
Keep refrigerated once opened
Step 11: Gift Wrapping (optional)
As the jars of Apple Butter will be this years Yule gifts for my sister and a few close friends, I wrapped mine in cellophane and embellished with seasonal ribbon.
Bringing home gifts from my American family is one thing, but being able to give my family and friends a taste of my American family's homemade recipes will be an extra gift for my family at home. Family means a lot, no matter what time of year it is, being able to share this with them and now you, means even more xxx