29 October 2009

Apple Butter

Last week I attempted my first ever batch of apple butter. I figured I was making tons of applesauce anyway, so why not keep cooking one batch and spice it up?

So I did just that. Now, on my kitchen counter, I have a little scrap of paper with quantities on it. But for the life of me, I can't remember where I found the recipe. It just wouldn't be fair to post the recipe here without proper credit. Besides, I really didn't follow the spice quantities--I added some, tasted, and added more until I was satisfied with the level of spices.

So here's the basics:
  • Make applesauce, but with apple cider instead of water. I used about 5 lbs of apples and about 2 cups of apple cider.
  • When cooked, cool slightly and puree the applesauce.
  • Put back into pot, add little bits of the following: ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, allspice. Taste, and keep adding bits of whatever you think it needs until it tastes the way you like it. (You can also add sugar if you like, but I didn't.)
  • Cook on medium low for hours. Two or three hours, probably. Mine took about four, because I had the heat too low for a while. You want it to bubble a little, maybe one bubble burst every 2 seconds or so. Warning: this will splatter on your stove and/or countertop and/or walls a bit.
  • While cooking, stir frequently. For me, I stirred once every ten minutes.
How do you know when it's done? Good question. This blogger suggests dropping a spoonful on a chilled plate, and if no water accumulates around the blob of apple butter, it's done. I did this, but feel it could have been cooked a little longer. Frankly, though, I was so tired of stirring after four hours, I just called it good. It still works, it's still yummy, it's just not as brown and thick as commercial apple butter. Could be because it's homemade. How do you make apple butter?