Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apple Butter Time...

Fall in our house means one thing... Apple Butter! 

My mother-in-law has been making apple butter for years. Grandma is known for her apple butter. She has learned over the years to even keep a supply in hiding so that there is enough to last throughout the year.  About six years years ago, she shared the "secret" family recipe with me as well as sharing the technique of making apple butter. Come the first of September, my mother-in-law will start keeping her ears open to where we will be able to find apples. We do have an orchard nearby but we aren't always fortunate enough to get there in time or the crop hasn't been very good that year. 

This year, however, apples were in abundance so we sat out early one morning to go picking...

I brought home a whole bushel...

With this many apples to peel, you have to have one of these...

Ever since the boys were very small they have been part of making the apple butter. They really do enjoy making it as much as eating it...

This was probably the juiciest bushel of apples we've ever had. The juice was going everywhere-the floor, the cabinets, the refrigerator and us! After we finished we all had a really nice shower.

Once the apples were all peeled, it was then time to chop and get them into the crock pot...

Let the cooking begin...

The secret to the recipe is the cooking time-12 hours! The next morning we woke up to the wonderful smell of apple butter.

I found a really great tip from Sandy at 4 Reluctant Entertainers. Instead of using the water bath method to seal the jars, she suggested just turning the jars upside down to allow them to seal. I gave it a try and it really worked! Here is the canning method I used:

~ Place jars in a boiling pot of water for about 10 minutes. You can also run them through the rinse cycle of the dishwasher. Dry jars before use.

~Boil the canning lids and rings and keep them hot until ready to use.

~Fill the hot jars using a wide mouth funnel with jelly, preserves, jam, or apple butter.

~Make sure the rim of the jar is clean.

~Place hot lid onto the jar and screw ring onto jar tightly.

~Flip the jars upside down so the heat of the apple butter is in direct contact with the seal.

~Cool jars slightly, and then turn back to upright position.

~You will know if the jar is sealed when you push down on the lid and it doesn't pop back up. With a few of mine, I just had to push down on the lid and it sealed. 

My pantry is now stocked with jars of apple butter and even a few jars of applesauce. 

Of course with all this apple butter you have to have lots of biscuits!!!


  1. Yummy! I'm heading out this week to get apples, too. Are you going to share the "secret" recipe?:)

    One thing about flipping the jars over is the "jam" needs to be really really hot, as in just boiled. So make sure your crockpot does that. I always boil my jam - then scoop it right into the jars.

    Happy Tuesday! Your jars turned out beautifully!

  2. So cute...I love apple butter and what great memories. Did you go to the Country Living fair? I posted some treasures I bought there on my blog. We almost didn't go b/c of the weather but we did. The rain held off!
    -Sandy toes
    I love your blog I am adding it to my list!

  3. The jars look beautiful filled with your delicious apple butter! I love how the boys were there right along with you helping! Great memories!!

  4. That Apple Butter looks so yummy!!!

    I think I need to get an apple peeler don't you?

  5. I make homemade apple butter the same way! I was just thinking the other day that it was time!
    Glad the boys got involved!!!

  6. Oh wow, that looks so yummy, I can't imagine how good it smelled in your house! I love the jars too. So charming!

  7. Are my jars in the mail? Send a whole bunch!!! I love the pictures of the boys! What great memories they have of that time with you!

  8. So I guess this means you aren't going to share the receipe. :)

    Looks so yummy!!

  9. I love apple butter.. I can bring the home made biscuits :)

  10. mmmmmmm. great, enticing pictures. I have already made my first batch of applesauce (LOVE Fall!), and as I was peeling my apples with a peeler, I was daydreaming about that peely-contraption you have! So, I have to know: Does it really save you time? or is it one of those thingys that takes so much time to clean that it defeats the purpose of its time-saving features? .... you know what I mean, right???

  11. What a great family tradition to pass on to your kids! I love hearing about other peoples traditions. Looks great too!

  12. OK I am inspired. For the past several years I have just purchase apple butter from the store but I am feeling domestic these days so I would love to try making my own. I have never canned anything before so I would love to give that a shot too. I will keep you posted on how that goes!!

  13. Yummy, yummy, yummy! We used to live near Apple Hill in CA. We would go pick apples and visit all the orchards. We always got apple butter. To this day it is my son's favorite.
    This looks like so much fun!

  14. We love apple butter! And, this looks delicious. I can imagine the smell of the house must've been so wonderful. I'm with Sandy's comment.... are you planning to post the recipe??? :)

  15. Oh my goodness...that sounds so delicious right now! Oh, I could eat a dozen biscuits like that... Mmmm!

  16. I love the recipes that are passed down and have memories attached. I'm interested in making applesauce this year- maybe you could share a tried and true recipe for that, too ( : Apples are ready for picking in our neck of the woods. . .

  17. I would love to know how to make apple butter in a crock pot!!


  18. Mmmmmm! Great apple butter making pictures! We love apple butter too - it is so good! I made oven pear butter last weekend and hope to get to apple butter making this weekend. My recipe calls for 6 cups of cider that has been reduced to 1 cup, cinnamon and sugar too - and I cook it all day in my Nanny's big old roaster in the oven - I don't think the crock pot would be big enough for the quantity we usually make! How much of the bushel did you stuff in your crock pot? It looked really full!

    I took a canning course not long ago and the food safety people really do not recommend the upside method at all - only if you plan to use the food within a week. From their perspective, there is so much more yeast, bacteria and other nasties in the air then there was even 25 years ago - the old methods are just not thought to be safe now. I tried the upside method for some jam last year, and while it all sealed just fine it quickly turned dark and was moldy within just a few weeks - my jam was boiling hot and my jars were boiled and hot too! I really hope your stays nicely! Personally, I'm going to play it safe and hot water bath everything from now on - food is too expensive the the process of preserving it too time consuming for me to just have to throw it out.


Your thoughts...