Apple Butter NOT – bakingnotwriting

Joy of cooking apple butter recipe

This is apple butter but not butter involved. There never is. It’s like an egg cream: no egg, no cream. “Butter” refers to the soft texture of canned apples and I have fond memories of making this apple candy with my mother when I was little. Because of our super-prolific peach and plum trees, it seemed like we permanently had a boiling pot of empty jars on the stove, in the middle of putting plum or peach jam. Apples were an exciting novelty in our jam-making frenzy.

A friend in Pacifica has a large apple tree in the courtyard of her beachside bungalow. The fruit is popular with raccoons, but apples don’t seem like much for human consumption. So we spread them with butter!

I used my Mom’s Joy of Cooking recipe for apple butter, which by the way is not in MY Joy of Cooking because it is a later edition. I think it’s worth including here because home canning has become mystical and doesn’t have to be. And unless you have my mother’s old “Joy,” you can’t find this recipe that’s easy and fun.

Pacifica Apple Butter Ingredients


Apples, you name it, completely intact but clean Water to cover them in a pot 1/2 cup sugar for each cup of pulp you get (see below) 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon per cup pulp Nutmeg, cloves, and allspice to taste 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice Jars and lids and tongs to remove them

Remove the stems from your apples and quarters. Cover with water in a large pot and cook until soft. Once they have softened to the point of crumbling, force the entire contents of the pot, including water, through a sieve.

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You must have the seeds and skins in the sieve and nothing else. Throw them away. They did their job, infusing the pulp with pectin.

Measure the remaining pulp and

follow the instructions above to add sugar and spices. <img src

=”” alt=”” />Return the pulp to the pot and add lemon juice. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Let the mixture boil briefly and then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring intermittently, until the mixture forms leaves from your spoon. This should take around half an hour to forty minutes, depending on how watery your apples were and what the weather is like. The other way to test if your butter is ready is to put a plate in the freezer and then drop a few drops of butter into the cold dish. If the butter forms firm drops without water around the edges, it is ready.

While the butter is cooking, place the empty jars and lids in a huge pot of water and boil them well. You don’t have to buy those cute jars of preserves my mom has. You can reuse jars of jam you’ve eaten before, as long as you also have the correct lids saved.

Once your butter is ready, use the tweezers to remove a jar, throwing away the water before adding the preserve. Fill the jar, but leave half an inch on top for the jam to expand. Use your tweezers to put a lid on and tighten until it hooks. Later that night, you’ll want to squeeze the jar again before bed. In the morning, his jam should have formed a seal. My mom likes to make her own labels at this point. We have reserved the largest jar for the inhabitants of the Pacifica bungalow who provided the apples.

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