I know I have talked about going apple picking last weekend a lot, but you may have not seen photos yet!
As all of you know how excited I was to go picking, I'll just let you enjoy the photo essay, and let the photos speak for themselves.
The apples we picked were Jonamacs, a cross between Jonathan and Macintosh, great for sauce. I felt incredibly inspired to make the apple butter, and it turned out divine. Use any flavorful apples that are good for sauce making.
Without further adieu…
Apple picking; Frida & I on the tractor ride.
Probably the girls' favorite part was the pony ride.
As for the recipe...
Spiced apple butter
4 lbs apples (about 10-14 depending on size), quartered (no need to peel or seed)
1 cup apple cider
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ginger
½ tsp salt
Combine the apples, cider, and water in a large saucepan or stockpot (I used 5 qts) and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down a little and simmer for 40 minutes, until the apples are a bit mushy.
Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl (have this ready!) and pour the cooked apple mixture in. Push down on the solids, forcing them to go through the sieve and leaving peel and seeds behind. You'll end up with about ½ cup of peel and seed waste; discard.
Return the apple sauce to the saucepan on the stove. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the apple butter is reduced considerably, about 25-30 minutes. Be very careful not to burn yourself, this will jump around quite a bit, and you will need to stir without leaving the sauce at all. You will know it's done when you draw a line across the bottom of the pot with the spoon and it takes more than a few seconds to disappear.
I do not can (as in sterilize in canning jars) the apple butter, I simply wash the jars, lids, and bands well and then dry them. Then I scoop the apple butter in the jars, close tightly, and freeze them. They also last a while in the fridge.