It’s apple season and one of the best ways to preserve the taste of apples is with Bungalow Chef’s Apple Butter. Somewhere between a jelly and jam, apple butter has an ultra-smooth, rich consistency. It’s perfect as a sweet topping for toast or English muffins in the morning.
One of the great autumn traditions of my childhood was our annual family apple picking adventure. Together we would pick tart apples, slightly warmed by the sun, and wash them from the farm hand-pump. Once we were done, we would load the bushel basket of freshly picked apples into the back of our station wagon and head home where Mom’s apple creations would commence.
Today, the art of home canning or preserving is on an upswing due to a renewed interest in “clean labels” with farm-to-table ingredients and the pride of the craft. Enrich this occasion by gathering in the kitchen with the kids to make apple butter and share the legend of Johnny Appleseed. Young ones love to lend a hand in making this as a gift for family members come the holidays. Celebrate the season and create an autumn food memory with your family today.
Bungalow Chef’s Apple Butter
4 lbs of Granny Smith apples
1 cup of Heinz apple cider vinegar
4 cups of granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 lemon juiced and the rind grated
Wash apples, cut into quarters, leaving the seeds and core, but remove any brown spots.
Place cut apples in a deep heavy gauge saucepan. Add the water and vinegar. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes until the apples are soft. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Using a chinois, or food mill, push the pulp thought the screen into a large bowl. (You can use a food processor, but you’ll still need to force through a fine mesh colander.)
Then add the sugar, spices, and lemon juice and rind.
Using a heavy, thick gauge pot, place apples back on the stove and cook until thick and smooth stirring often. Cook for one to two hours.
Just cool and it’s ready to enjoy straight from the refrigerator!
To can for storage or gifts:
Sterilize canning jars. (I like Ball canning products as they’re a traditional family favorite. I like to use the pint or smaller size jars for apple butter.) Sterilize jars by running through a short cycle in your dishwasher without soap. Or, place them in a deep pot of water, on top of a steaming rack, so they don’t touch the bottom, and bring to a strong boil for 10-15 minutes. Sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them.
Next, fill the jars with the apple butter to 1/4-inch below the rim. Place the lids on top of the filled jars and secure with the ring closures.
Place jars in a deep pot of simmering water (180˚) on top of a steaming rack. Ensure water covers jars by 1-2 inches. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Boil in the water bath for 10 minutes for a good seal.
Remove from the water bath, dry and cool the jars. Add a label and mark as Apple Butter with the date. Perfect for the pantry or to give as a gift.
Mike Mech, "The Bungalow Chef"