How 'bout them apples?

October 08, 2003|by ANDREA ROWLAND

At least half the fun of making apple butter is doing it among friends and loved ones - a necessity if you make the butter by the kettleful. But here are a few recipes for folks without a small army of peelers and two days to spare.

For these smaller quantities, simply remove apple peels by putting the softening apples through a sieve or food mill. Oil of cinnamon and oil of cloves can be substituted for powdered cinnamon and powdered cloves, but quantities must be adjusted accordingly.

Stovetop Apple Butter

  • 15 medium-sized apples (4 to 5 pounds)

  • 1 1/2 quarts sweet apple cider

  • 3 cups sugar

  • 1 teaspoon each cinnamon, allspice and cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Select firm, tart, cooking apples. Wash and slice. Do not remove core, seed or peel. Add cider and boil 15 minutes or until apples are soft. Press through sieve. (You should have about 3 quarts of pulp.) Gently boil the pulp 1 hour or until it begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. To save time, you can use commercial applesauce instead of making your own apple puree. Stir in sugar and spices and continue cooking slowly 3 hours or until thickened, stirring frequently. Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Seal with lids. There's no need to water bathe since the lids will seal themselves as the apple butter cools.


Makes 3 to 5 pints.

Crockpot Apple Butter

  • 12 apples

  • 2 cups apple cider

  • sugar

  • cinnamon

  • allspice

  • cloves

Wash, core and quarter apples, but do not peel. Combine apples and cider in lightly oiled crockpot. Cover and cook on high for about three hours. Sieve apples. For each pint of sieved fruit, add 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 teaspoon cloves. Stir well. Cover and cook on high for 6 to 8 hours, stirring every 2 hours. Remove crockpot cover after 3 hours to allow fruit and juice to cook down.

- Recipes courtesy of the Berkeley Springs Apple Butter Festival organizers.

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