September is one of my favorite months of the year. I love when fall decorations appear on porches and Main Street is decked out in corn stalks and pumpkins. It’s the month that’s still warm enough for wearing shorts but cool enough for the apples to be harvested.
Yay! It’s time for yummy apple treats!
I’ve been eyeing a recipe for homemade apple butter that I saw on one of my favorite blogs a couple of weeks ago. Marisa at Food In Jars issued the challenge to create and preserve a fruit butter in September, and she provides a great list of recipes to try. She writes
Remember that the goal of this challenge is to help you expand your skills while creating something that you’ll actually use. So choose an approach or recipe that will satisfy both your own learning and help you make something delicious.
I love apple butter, but the rest of my family isn’t very fond of it so I don’t get it very often. It automatically became my choice for the recipe as it is something I’d use. And I’ve never made it myself, so any approach would be a learning experience. I selected the recipe for Spiced Apple Butter and started planning.
I found some lovely Ginger Golds at our local produce stand for 99 cents a pound. Soft and slightly sweet, they were perfect for the homemade apple butter. I also ordered a mechanical peeler from Amazon. I’ve never needed one in the past because I typically don’t have a need to prep a lot of apples. But after spending the time to core, peel and slice a five pound bag of apples by hand for the dehydrator two weeks ago, my husband suggested getting one.
I think he secretly likes my cooking. He’s very supportive when I try new recipes, offers honest criticism, and refers to the kitchen as my lab. 🙂
I found this peeler at Amazon in my price range. It arrived in two days.
Once I figured out how it worked it took me about three apples to get it right. The trick was in getting the core lined up properly on the shaft; before I figured that out I was trimming tiny peel pieces off the slices with a paring knife, which seemed silly considering that the peeler was supposed to be doing all the work.
Of course, I could’ve left the peels on and pureed them into the butter. I didn’t. I was having too much fun with the new toy. Is that the retired mechanical engineer in me or just the child?
I couldn’t have picked an easier recipe. I simply prepared the apples, popped them in the slow cooker, added a quarter cup of water, and let it sit all day. After about 6 hours, I spent a couple of minutes with the hand blender, added some sugar and spice and let it sit another couple of hours. The entire house filled with a wonderful aroma of apples and cinnamon.
Voila! Yummy apple butter. Thick, sweet and delicious!
My only regret is that I used three pounds of apples instead of eight. Initially, I didn’t want a lot of apple butter to fill my little freezer. Considering I’m the only one who typically eats it, and the recipe was intended to yield 3 pints, I’d have enough apple butter to last forever. However, this butter tasted so yummy that even my youngest son likes it, the son who believes that the only fruit spread that should be used on anything is grape jelly! Now that I know how to make this oh-so-simple treat, it may become a staple in the fridge, at least in the fall months.
My three pounds of apples produced a pint of butter. I froze half of it and, after having some of it on my toast this morning, have eaten a quarter of the other half. Did I say it was delicious?
What else can I say? It’s that good! I hope you try it. If you do, let me know how yours comes out!