Apple Butter Time

One of the last preserving tasks of the year is the making of the apple butter. This year the task had extra meaning because a friend of mine donated a milk crate full of organic apples to the cause. Yay!

I arrived on the farm bright and early on Saturday morning and mom and I dove into the job.

My father loves canning time too. Although he’s not a canner himself, he hangs around the kitchen and supervises the process. He has never said, but I think canning time reminds him of his childhood: he grew up in the farm house. So did his mother. So did his grandmother. A lot of canning has taken place in that old kitchen.

Making apple butter is pretty easy: just wash all the apples, core them and cut them into chunks.  The apple slices go into the pot with just a little bit of water to keep them from burning.

When the apples are cooked down to a nice soft mush (after much stirring and temperature adjusting) we put them through a sieve/Chinois/china hat using a worn wooden pestle— the same set that has been in my family for generations. This removes the skin and any bits of core that might be in the mush.

I should have taken a picture of our antique sieve, but here is an example of a new one.

12" Fine China Cap Strainer

Next we measured 16 cups of apple mush and added sugar, cinnamon (of course we used our favorite¬†Spice House cinnamon)¬†and some apple cider. That’s all it takes (along with a lot of time) to make the magical fall ambrosia called apple butter. In the picture below you can see that we started out with a full pan, and as the butter cooks down, the apple butter gets thicker and sweeter. Oh my. I love this stuff. Have you ever had the apple butter at Cracker Barrel? It’s good, right? This is 100 times better!


Mom and I ended up with 18 jars of apple butter. Cindy does not care for it — whoo hoo! I do not have to share!

Here is an apple butter recipe that works in a crock pot.

Quilting will commence after I take the biscuits out of the oven and devour a jar of the butter — don’t judge — we call it quality control!

5 thoughts on “Apple Butter Time

  1. Gray Barn Designs says:

    Yum, this look tasty, even though I don’t like apple butter that much. Save me a biscuit slathered in butter!

  2. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Sandy!!! This is embarrassing but I have never had apple butter. I know, it’s totally shocking at this old age. There have to be some experiences that are new at all ages of life, right. That’s my excuse. I can, however, just smell the air from your words . . . drifting through the computer. My mouth is watering, and I’m wondering why the h I never tried it? And then I’m wondering just how long it would take me to whip over? I know you’d put some more biscuits on, and I would adore the chat with your mom and dad!! I miss mine. Happy Saturday! ~smile~ Roseanne

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