Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Apple Butter: A Reflection

"Live and learn" is one of my mottoes. If something goes wrong or right you learn something from it. Well, my apple butter went wrong. I'll start from the beginning.
A recent thread on Cold Antler Farm forum was about apples. Many people listed their favorite apple recipes. Among these was one for apple butter made in the crockpot. I rejoiced knowing that I could have slightly less laborious but still have tasty apple butter in about a day. Excited to can some I rushed to the orchard, bought a basket of blemished mixed apples for $4, a steal. Yesterday morning I peeled, cored, and chopped my 10 apples. Threw in the spices and discovered that we didn't have any sugar. Not a problem. I was due to go to work in a few hours anyway so I would just have to add it when I came home. I put on high for an hour stirred excitedly then switched it to low for 9 more hours, but in nine more hours I would be at work. I told my mom to take the cover off at about 7 o'clock. When I got home my mom had reported that that apple butter started to burned. Of course, I questioned her about what time she took it off....7:30. Groan! Thankfully it didn't taste burnt!
I left it alone since it was too late to can it. This morning I got up, threw the apple butter in the food processor to smooth it out and add the sugar. Although the recipe suggests putting in 2 cups of sugar I found that 1/2 cup did just fine. I threw the mixture back into the crockpot on warm, to kill any bacteria and set up the canning equipment. This was the fourth time that I canned this year so my set up was great. I corrected any flaws in my previous canning adventures.
Sadly, the apple butter only did three 1/2 pint jars. I had anticipated at least six 1/2 pint jars.
No worries, I still have a lot of apples left from the basket so I'll be making some more soon. I think I'll be freezing it this time.
P.S. I'm on my third book of the season, Hit by a Farm by Catherine Friend.


Karen Sue said...

ok, but really..did the whole crockpot think work out OK and would you do it that way again? And I think you've changed books, so how is Hit By A Farm so far?? I have been accumulating a small list for the library asking and also when I have coupons for the bookstore..and then for Christmas ideas. I went through some of the reading challenge lists of people, and also as they pop up on blogs.. there is one with Manure in the title that sounds pretty good, too! I'll be waiting for the thumbs up or down on this one!

Rachel B. said...

I would definatly give the whole apple butter in the crockpot a go again, I just need to be home all day to attend to it myself. I'm going to use the rest of my apples to make some on Sunday. I would freeze it but the whole "I can make shelf stable healthy food" just amazes me. Besides my freezer wouldn't like to have anymore stuff in it. I'll have to post a reflect on canning because the way I did it when I first started has changed.
As for the book, it's really good! I'm a little over 1/2 way done but I expect to be done by the weekend then I'll do a book review.

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