The Rodale Institute Organic Apple Festival was held this past Saturday, and I was there covering it for Organic Gardening. The festival was so much fun that my boyfriend got caught up in the spirit and ended up picking 15 pounds of apples. Now, I like apples as much as the next girl, but I knew that even his six roommates wouldn’t be able to devour all of those apples before they went bad. So I did what I do best, Googled, and decided to make apple butter. Below is the recipe that I came up with.
5 lbs apples
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
lots of cinnamon, to taste
Slice and peel the apples and put in a large stockpot. Add the apple cider and lemon juice and cook covered over medium to medium-low heat for about an hour. Make sure to stir intermittently to avoid burning. When the apples have lost their shape, and look a little like applesauce, add the sugar and cinnamon. Reduce heat to low and letter simmer uncovered for upwards of 2 hours. The longer you let the apple butter cook, the more it will reduce and the thicker it will become. When it has reached desired thickness (my criteria was that it should be spreadable without being runny), blend in a food processor and put into jars.
Note – I did not preserve my apple butter with a canning process, I just put it in mason jars. Also, the cinnamon and sugar amounts are really up to you. I put in a lot of cinnamon and sugar, but it would really be fine with very little. This recipe filled 3 mason jars.