A couple of weeks ago, my mom dropped off 3 half bushels of apples. Incase you are unfamiliar with how many apples that is, I’ve used 20 pounds of peeled and cored apples and haven’t used a whole half bushel yet. These apples were fresh from the trees in their backyard and I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I quickly got to work.
First thing I wanted? Apple butter. I made a lackluster apple butter last year, and yet everyone seemed to love it. I was determined to make an even better version this year and totally blow everyone’s sock off. But if you’re looking for the real reasons I wanted to make apple butter, they’re A. the wonderful smell that fills your house for days B. I love it on a grilled cheese with some sharp cheddar. Expect an apple butter grilled cheese recipe sometime before the end of fall.
Because I had so many apples, I definitely wanted to can some to give as gifts. I realize that most people don’t have 80 pounds of apples
taking up precious kitchen floor real estate looming over their heads delightfully waiting to be made into apple butter, so I put a smaller batch in parenthesis. Either way, this recipe is based off of a recipe that can be canned (per Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving), despite the fact that there’s no added lemon or other acid. I amped up the spice levels but kept them within a safe range for canning — if you plan on canning this, do NOT increase the spices any further without doing a little research. Spices actually contain a lot of bacteria and you can produce an unsafe product if you add too much.
As I’m not a canning expert, please utilize outside literature for any questions regarding how to sterilize jars, properly fill the jars, headspace, processing, etc.