And it is just right for snuggling!
I praise the Lord that we don't have any doctor appointments or games to go to today. We have the whole day to do what we want or need to do. Whew, it is hard on an old body to be on the run from morning til night! But at the same time, I am thankful I am still able to do so.
This will seem like it is long, and for 'words' it is, but I intend to make some this fall and thought you might be interested also. If not, just scroll through.
1. Start by peeling, coring and slicing 5 1/2 pounds of apples. The best kind of apples for apple butter are Cortland, Jonamac, Spigold, Jonathan, Liberty, Sweet Sixteen, Golden Russet, Orin, Arkansas Black, and Grimes Golden.
2. Place all the apples into a large crock pot along with 2-4 cups of sugar (depending on your sweet tooth), 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cloves. I am too lazy to dice my apples really small so I cook it on high until the apples are cooked down (about 5-6 hours). Can you tell what decade I got married in by the style of my crock pot?
3. After my apples are soft and cooked down I take my electric hand mixer and blend the apples and spices together (after about 5 hours on high in the crock pot) I periodically mix them up until it is all blended throughout the evening.
Note: If you would rather cook them down on the stove top and then transfer them to your crock pot you can do that as well. It will save hours in the crock pot I have done it both ways.
4. Then I turn it down to low and cook them overnight. This takes a LONG TIME to cook down, but it is worth it. Plus you do not have to babysit them you just let them cook down all night.
5. In the morning it will have turned a beautiful brownish red color. I mix it again and then I take the top off the crock pot and let it thicken until it is my desired consistency (usually another 2-4 hours). Meanwhile, I wash 9 pint jars in my dishwasher. When they are still hot I take them out of the dishwasher. Then fill up the jar with the hot apple butter leaving about 1/4” of head space. Wipe the rim clean. Put a new lid on it and then put the ring on it. If you are a true canner stop reading here….
Now flip the jars upside down. Let them cool. When they are completely cool flip them right side up and they will have sealed.
It makes about 9 pint jars. No special tools necessary. Just canning jars, apples and spices. Easy peasy!