Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Honey Apple Butter

Fall is in the air.  The bounty of it's harvest is now upon us and Iam making sure to take full advantage of it.  I absolutely love this time of year.  I purchased an entire bushel of apples from my farmers market for a whopping $4.  And from there I set off to create new wonderful ways to make it last throughout the year for us.  This Honey Apple Butter is just one of the delicious ways to do so.  Every time you crack open a jar to spread onto your biscuits, you are reminded of fall's splendor.  Of all it's wonderful colors, aromas and tastes. 

15 or so medium green tart cooking apples (cored and sliced)
3 cups of apple cider
2 cups of light brown sugar (packed)
1 1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. of ground allspice
4 T. of honey

-In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, bring the apples and the cider to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes (stir often).  Remove pot from stove and place on a cutting board or trivet.  Using a potato masher, mash apples with kind of a grinding motion against the bottom of the pot to break down the remaining skins (you want a pureed kind of texture).  Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and the honey.  Return the pot to the stove and simmer uncovered over low-medium heat for 1 1/2 hours (again stirring often).  It is ready to fill your still hot sterilized jars when it becomes very thick and can mound on a spoon.  Meanwhile, towards the last 30-45 minutes of finishing the apple butter, fill your canning stockpot with the 8- 1/2 pint canning jars, rims and lids along with enough water to cover them.  Place the lid on the stockpot.  Set canning stockpot to boil and once reached, boil to sterilize for 10 minutes.  Once they are finished sterilizing, remove jars, rims and lids with canning tongs to a towel-lined cutting board and fill before cooled.  Replace the lid back onto the canning stockpot to maintain boiling.  Fill each jar up to the bottom ring at the top of the jar, allowing a 1/4" of void space at the top for 'headspace' (or else they will literally explode!).  Wipe rims with a clean damp rag and tightly fit on the lids and rings.  Using canning tongs, carefully place them back into the boiling pot, cover and process for 5 minutes.  Remove jars with canning tongs and place UPSIDE DOWN on your towel-lined cutting board.  Allow to cool for 1 hour or so, then flip upright.  Your tops should have either already popped inward or will do so at this time.  If any of the lids did not seal, they are still good to eat.  They just need to be refrigerated immediately and eaten within 3 weeks.  Properly sealed jars can be stored in a dark, dry, cool place like a cabinet or pantry for up to 1 year.  And again, once they are opened and the seal has been broken, refrigerate and eat within 3 weeks.  Makes 8- 1/2 pint jars.  Enjoy!

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