Saturday, October 15, 2011

Apple Sauce & Apple Butter

After preserving apple pie filling, I still had a tonne of apples inundating my fridge.

So, I decided to make some apple sauce and apple butter.  Apple sauce is very easy to make and tastes much better made from scratch than the sugar-filled sauce you'll buy at the grocery store.  I took some inspiration from Marisa's, at Food in Jars, apple sauce recipe

Apple Sauce

5 lbs apples
1/2 cup of apple juice
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp of clove
2 pieces of star anise
2 heaping tablespoons of honey

I don't have a foodmill, so I peeled, cored and sliced my apples ahead of time.  Add apples, apple juice and star anise to a non-reactive pot and let cook until apples soften.  Once apples are getting softer, add cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.  Stir every few minutes.  After about 15 minutes, apples will be quite soft.

Remove star anise.  I like a blended consistency for my apple sauce, so I used my immersion blender.  Then, I added honey to taste.

While apple sauce is cooking, prepare jars by putting them in a water canner on a slow boil to sterilize.  I usually leave them in there for about 15 minutes.

Pour applesauce into your prepared jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe rims, apply lids and screw on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes for half pints and pints, 20 minutes for quarts.
When time has elapsed, remove jars from canner and let them cool on a towel-lined countertop.
To store, remove rings and keep in a cool, dark place. Applesauce will keep in storage up to one year.
I knew I wanted to use at least part of my apple sauce to make apple butter.  Apple butter is also very easy to make.  You just take apple sauce and cook it down more to make it into a thicker consistency. This can be done on the stove, in the oven or in a slow-cooker.  
It seemed simplest to me to use the slow-cooker. 

I started with 2.5 litres of apple sauce and let it cook on low for about 16-18 hours.  This may be more time than necessary, but I didn't follow instructions and left the lid on overnight.  I should have left the lid partially open so that the water being released from the sauce would evaporate more.   Maybe it's for the best since I only stirred it once during the night rather than more regularly, as required.

As it cooks, it gets darker and thicker.  You'll know that it's ready when you put it on a plate and, after leaving it for a minute or so, water doesn't form around the mound of apple butter.

In the end, I reduced the sauce by half and ended up with 1.25 litres of apple butter.

Go ahead and can that, following these instructions.  

By this point -- I had used up all of my apples!  Success!  

Until.... I went and visited Giz this past weekend and picked about 3 bags worth of apples.  Doh!



pam said...

Oh this is making me want to can some apple sauce! If only I had a lovely orchard to go pick some!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

They both sound like something I would love to be gifted:D The photo of the apples all lined up is too fun!

Torviewtoronto said...

I like the addition of anise looks wonderful
Mary hope you had a fabulous thanksgiving weekend, regards Akheela

Patsyk said...

yummmmm, Apple Butter! I'd love to make some soon... I need to go apple picking before the season passes me by!

That Girl said...

I'm impressed. When I go apple picking, most end up being eaten before I can do anything with them!

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