Tag Archives: apples

Apple Butter

Many moons ago, I cooked up my first batch of apple butter.  It was surprisingly simple and tasted better than anything I had growing up; and from what I remember, the jars my mom would bring home tasted pretty darn amazing!  This no-fail low-maintenance method is my constant go-to when making apple butter.  It is so easy you’ll wonder why anyone would choose a different route!

If you want to make apple butter, the first thing you need to do is make applesauce: reada perfect recipe for putting up during the off-season!  The directions for unsweetened applesauce are in the beginning of the linked recipe; although, I highly encourage anyone who loves vanilla and maple to make the “awesome sauce”.  Trust me, you will not be disappointed!  When apples come into season this year, I’m making a batch of vanilla-maple apple butter!

apple butter

Apple Butteryields approximately 9 pints

9 qts unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground allspice

4 cups sugar

Place 6 qts of applesauce in your slow-cooker (or however much fills it to within 1-inch of the rim), add the spices and 2 cups of sugar; mix well.  Set heat to high and cook for an hour with the lid vented; resting the lid on a long wooden spoon works well.   Reduce the heat to low and allow to continue cooking for an additional 8-10 hours.

Once the mixture has been reduced by half, add the remaining applesauce and sugar.  Stir and cook several more hours allowing the flavors to mix.  When the apple butter has reached your desired thickness, using an immersion blender, purée mixture into a creamy consistency.  Ladle into hot, sterilized, half-pint jars and remove air bubbles; wipe rims, add two-piece lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, or for as long as your altitude requires.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe courtesy of PickYourOwn.org.

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Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Fruit Butter

Johnny Appleseed in a Jar

A cultural icon; forbidden fruit.  The apple has quite a history!  It also happens to be one of my favorite foods to put up.  Dried, sauced, buttered, and baked, the delicious possibilities are endless!  Last fall was the first time I had canned my apple pie filling.  In years past I would follow the recipe given below but instead of processing in a bwb, I allowed the mixture to cool and then filled Ziploc bags with 2.5 cups filling and froze for future baking needs.  If you decide that the freezing method is the way to go, just be sure to follow this oh-so-important final step before filling your pie shell or else your pie will become a watery mess!  Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1/4 cup clear jell; the additional sugar keeps the clear jell from clumping when added to the filling.  Stir mixture on medium-high until thickened.

apples & filling

Apple Pie Filling– yields 7 quarts

6 quarts fresh apples – in case you’re wondering, Cortland apples make the best pies!

5 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups clear jell – cook type

2 1/2 cups cold water

5 cups apple juice

3/4 cup bottled lemon juice

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Wash, peel, and core your apples.  I use one of these nifty all-in-one contraptions and wouldn’t have it any other way!  Last fall I canned apple mincemeat and prepared my apples by hand; NEVER AGAIN will I make that mistake!  Not only did it take forever, but my hands were so tired!

Place apple slices in a large bowl of water containing ascorbic acid to prevent browning, drain, and set aside.

In a large pot combine sugar, clear jell, cinnamon, nutmeg, water, and apple juice.  Stir ingredients until well blended and cook over medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble.  Add lemon juice and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Fold in drained apple slices, mix well and immediately fill prepared jars leaving 1-inch headspace.  Wipe rims, adjust two-piece lids, and process in a boiling-water bath for 25 minutes.  Remove jars and place on a wire rack, undisturbed for 12-24 hours, so seals may properly set.

pie filling

I cracked open my first jar about 2 weeks ago for a baking adventure and I was very pleased with the outcome.  Unfortunately, before I can share that delicious recipe I first need to share the two canned stars that made it shine!

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning and Food Preservation.

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Filed under Baking, Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Freezing

Roasted Buttercup Squash Soup with Curried Apples

I still have a slew of winter squash, stacked in crates, hanging out in my living room. While thumbing through some old recipes, looking for a bit of cooking inspiration, I found one that sparked my interest. This recipe is loosely based off a roasted sweet potato soup from body + soul.

Ingredients:

3 buttercup squash

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, chopped

1 ancho pepper

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

3/4 cup marsala cooking wine

4 cups veggie broth

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 Tsp curry powder

1 smallish tart apple, peeled, cored and diced.

dried cranberries, chopped

plain yogurt

olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Wash squash and slice in half, remove seeds and slice halves into wedges. Place squash wedges into baking dishes with a bit of water. Roast for 45 minutes to one hour. When squash has cooled to the touch scoop cooked squash out and place in a bowl. Discard or compost skins.

Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat, add onion some salt and pepper and cook until caramelized, approximately 15 minutes. Add bell pepper, hot pepper and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add marsala wine, squash and broth; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, until flavors have melded. Remove from heat and allow soup to cool. Using an immersion blender puree soup to desired consistency. Soup can also be poured into a blender, in small batches, and pureed.

In a small sauce pan, over med heat, bring vinegar, agave and curry powder to a boil. Add apple; stir for about a minute, remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowls, add a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle some apple and cranberry on top.

This soup can easily be converted into a vegan dish by omitting the yogurt.

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Filed under Vegetarian