Thursday, October 23, 2008

Apple Butter

Moving right along to something a little more bipartisan... {I'm sure there were a lot more than the few commenters who were offended by the cartoon... I hope you all know that I posted it in simple jest. Aren't we so blessed to live under a democracy where we each are entitled to and afforded our own opinion and even better, our own vote?!} Onto to the Apple Butter...

I love to can.
Call me a nerd, it's ok.
I love to can.
Mom & DaddyBoy love to can too.

Perhaps I was born a few generations too late. There probably aren't too many "twenty-something canners" out there. But let me tell you, there is something so rewarding about making something from scratch, sealing it in a can, and then prying it open later to taste the preserved goodness. I know, you can buy it at the store. But most ANYTHING tastes better if you make it yourself... and the fact that you can bottle up that goodness for another time {long down the road} or as a gift for another person makes it all the better!

In my opinion, there is nothing better on a hot buttered Bays than a daub of apple butter! So, without further adieu, here's my simple recipe for the best apple butter you'll ever taste! Now, don't stop reading if your intimidated by canning... you can store your portion in the fridge and give the rest away or you could use these plastic freezer jars. I prefer the old fashioned canning method myself. I've canned 10 pints in the last 2 days!

Crock Pot Apple Butter {yields 5 pints}

16 peeled, cored & chopped apples {I used several varieties}
1 1/2 C white sugar
1 C light brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t kosher salt
Place all ingredients in crock pot and stir so all apples are coated. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce to LOW for 8 to 10 hours; stir occasionally.

Once the apples are a rich brown color and mash easily you can do one of two things. If you like your apple butter thick you can scoop the apple mixture into a mesh colander to drain off excess liquid before blending. If you like it thinner leave liquid in the mixture. If I had a hand-held blender I would have used it in the crock pot to blend the apples to a lovely "apple butter consistency". However, I don't have a hand-held blender.... so, I scooped several cups at a time into my blender and "pulsed" it a few times until I reached my desired consistency. I filled my jars with the hot apple butter and was ready to can. Here are a few pics along the way...

1/2 a bushel:
16 apples:
sugar & spice:
1 little girl who wanted to eat all my apples:

early on:

1/2 way:


Now, if you'd like to can it {which I recommend} it's easy, you'll see:

1) wash and dry jars and lids
2) while you're filling your jars with your warm apple butter you should have your water bath heating up {I used this, purchased at any fine Walmart}
3) once the jars are filled, wipe the rims with a damp cloth and screw on the lid {but don't over tighten}
4) place jars in the water canning rack, lower into the canner, make sure they are covered with water by at least 1" & turn up heat
5) once you reach a boil, boil for 15 minutes
6) carefully remove jars from the canner and sit on a dry towel
7) sit and listen carefully.. "tink, tink, tink, tink...!" the jars will seal as they cool on the towel!
8) once the jars are completely cooled you can wipe the jars of any residue and store away

And if you'd like more detailed instructions on canning with pictures you can go here.


Tara McClendon said...

Will you please tell me how you manage to do these domestically fabulous things while mothering 3 children and keeping up a house?! You never cease to amaze me! :)

PS-Will you email me and tell me what size JM wears...perhaps in something like a Carter's onesie??

Lindsey said...

Looks so yummy! We are another family of canners-would you like some homemade Blackberry jam or pear butter from our farm? Very impressed......maybe I'll have to come over and taste it! Also-loved the political cartoon.

J said...

I have ALWAYS wondered how to can! I'm going to have to give it a "go." Thanks for the tutorial!

PS: I like your pet squirrel!

Anonymous said...

Well this "twenty something" and Will just canned Pear is SO rewarding. Miss you!
Caroline F.

Caroline said...

My grandmother used to can all of the time. I wish I had watched more of what she was doing. I think she used some kind of wax at the top of her jar? Do people do that?
I just really don't know when you get this stuff done. Do you sleep at all?
I just did a Bible study on the Proverbs 31 woman. Was her name Darby?

Kellie Patton said...

Looks delicious - do you sale them?

The White House said...

Darby, that looks wonderful! How do you get the cute fabric on, though? Don't you put the top on b/f you can it?
confused and amazed

chilly said...


But most of my friends and family didn't grow up craving... I mean eating it. Thanks for the recipe, this one is going in the family cookbook.

Carly Winborne said...

I have wanted to can something myself for so long, but never have for the same "nerdy" feeling. I agree, I was born much too late. With your instructions, I'll see what I can do. And I especially like your red and white fabric with the pinking-sheared edges!

Victoria said...

Mmmmmm I just opened a jar of apple butter yesterday but alas I did not make it. Maybe I will look into canning next year.

Carly said...

Trade you a piece of pie for some apple butter! Im with Tara, how do you manage all that you do?!

Anonymous said...

This is what I was looking for! And I am so up for canning. I've always wanted too; you are good motivation!

Truth Intersects Life said...

Can you come live at my house?

Kendra White said...

ok i have a REALLY dumb question... this looks super fun to me and I LOVE apple butter.... 2 questions:
1) is my house going to smell yummy??

2) does the "t" stand for table or tea spoon... i dont do much cooking, that falls under my husband's job:)

Anonymous said...

I would do anything for a jar of that! It looks fantastic!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing Darby!!!!!!!!!!!

becky said...

i liked your cartoon so much, i forwarded it on!!

and i LOVE apple butter. it is rockstar on some cinnamon raisin bread!!

MIMILEE said...

Well, Martha Stewart would be so proud................I know I'm impressed!!!!

Alabama Frugal Mom said...

Where do you get your jars and lids? I have not seen any like that?

Sarah's Fab Day said...

Ok, you are the cutest thing going! I love that you can, not to mention that you do it with 3 kids. I have 2 crazy boys and if I get the house clean I think I deserve a gold medal.

This year instead of doing Christmas gifts for friends my mom and I decided to do some "I'm Thankful for you" baskets filled with homemade goodies. Because once the holidays roll around it's hard enough to get everything done. I think the apple butter would be perfect in it!

Lana Mitzel said...

Thank you for this WONDERFUL recipe! I love apple butter, and now have a pantry full of it!

Anonymous said...

Trying to make pear butter with this recipe... silly question perhaps, but do you leave the lid off the crock pot? It seems that with the lid on, its going to be way too watery, no? Thanks for the easy alternative to a day over the stove!