November 08, 2010

Apple Butter and Applesauce

I finally was able to process all of those apples I bought a couple of weeks ago.  Those apples have been taking up a considerable amount of space in my refrigerator.  I made a total of 21 half pints of apple butter and 9 pints of chunky applesauce.  I want to make more applesauce and I will keep my eyes out for any reduced in price apples.  Besides using apple butter and applesauce for my family, I love to give apple butter away for gifts at Christmas time.

As for what I am going to do with the apple butter and applesauce - well, we love apple butter on toast and biscuits, but it is good for so many more uses.  Apple butter is good spread on yeast dough as a filling for cinnamon-apple rolls.  Also, I use it as a filling for coffee cake and I stir it into quick bread batter for an apple cinnamon bread.  It is equally good in a plain muffin recipe where you fill the muffin cups 1/2 full, dollop in the center some apple butter and top with more batter.  It is very versatile as is the chunky appleasauce.

My recipe for Apple Butter

10 to 12 apples, peeled, cored and chopped (Usually I just cut up a bunch of apples to fill my 4 quart pot)
2 cups sugar
2 to 3 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Place everything in your cooking pot and let it come to a boil and then reduce the heat.  Be careful not to let the mixture boil over.  Then just cook it down.  When the apples are soft but still hold their shape I take a stick blender and start to puree the mixture.  Keep cooking it down and puree it until it is nice and thick.

In the meantime, have your canning jars washed and in an oven (250 degrees) so as they remain hot.  Put the lids and rings in a saucepan and add water and keep at a simmer so that they remain hot.  Take a canner and fill with water (make sure there is at least 2 inches of water that will cover your canning jars) and set it on the stove to boil.  I do all of this prior to cooking the apples as I know the jars will be hot along with the lids and rings when I am ready to fill them and the canner water will be boiling when I need it.

When the apple butter is at the thickness you desire, fill the jars one at a time, wipe the rims and top with the lids and rings.  Be sure the rings are tight.  Then place the jars in the canner of boiling water and process 10 minutes for half pint jars and 20 minutes for pint jars.  I usually start the timer when the water in the canner has returned to a boil.  Remove the jars from the canner and allow to cool on the counter. Make sure the lids have sealed.  I love the sound that the lids make when they seal.

My Chunky Applesauce Recipe

Apples that have been peeled, cored and chopped (Usually I just cut up a bunch of apples to fill my 4 quart cooking pot)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar or more if desired
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon  (add a small amount first and then cook the sauce and add more if desired)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (same as with the cinnamon, taste first and add more if desired)

Cook the apples down until they are soft, mash down with a potato masher leaving small chunks and then continue to cook until the entire mixture is soft and at the desire consistency.  You can puree the entire mixture if you don't like chunky applesauce.  Process as for the apple butter.

I love a chunky applesauce versus the pureed version.  Yes, I add quite a bit of cinnamon and some nutmeg to my applesauce along with a little brown sugar to taste.  Besides serving the applesauce alone as a side dish/dessert, I use it as a filling in coffee cakes and in tarts.  For the tarts I take leftover pie crust and roll it into a large circle. I spread a thick amount of applesauce in the center of the tart and then I take the edges and pull them over the top of the tart.  I bake the tart until it is bubbly and brown and drizzle a little powdered sugar glaze on top.  This makes a super easy dessert as I always have homemade pie crust in the freezer. 

My family loves dessert pizza.  I take my pizza dough and I press the dough onto the greased pizza sheet and let it rise for 15 minutes.  I spread the applesauce on top and then I sprinkle with a streusel mixture.  The streusel mixture is made of some butter, some flour, brown sugar, quick oats and cinnamon that I mix together with my fingers to form a crumbly streusel mixture.  Sprinkle over the top of the applesauce and bake the dessert pizza at 375 degrees til brown and bubbly.  When it comes out of the oven drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze and serve.

Apple Butter and Chunky Applesauce tend to be homemade convenience foods in our home.

1 comment:

Debs said...

How funny - I was looking at your archives yesterday and was planning to email you to ask you about your apple butter, and now I have a whole post to read :)