On Halloween, I was finally able to go apple picking! Literally the last day before November officially kicked in and all the apple trees would be barren. I am a huge fan of apples but mainly when they’re cooked and made into other delicious items. Surprisingly enough, I am actually not a huge fan of fresh, raw apples. Yes, even a dietitian has her own cons with foods! However, if you make recipes out of fresh, raw apples, I will splurge! And one of my all own time favorite apple treats is apple butter. Now don’t be confused with the name as apple butter does not contain butter, similarly with nut butters. The term “butter” basically describes the smooth, buttery texture, which is oh, so delicious! Apple butter can be used just like with any fruit jam and adds a different level of flavor and texture. You can also add ginger and other flavorful spices; to each their own. There is nothing better than being able to pick your own apples straight from the tree to create your own healthy, yet delicious recipes.
During our apple picking escapade, my almost two year old daughter and I were able to get our
hands on some great Jonagold and Golden Delicious apples. I was able to show my little one where her favorite fruit grows, while allowing her to pick her own fruit and experience food in its most natural form. I know how important it is for our children to understand how and where food grows, and not just believe food comes from boxes. In this day and age, most of our food is processed and I seldom see children experience food in this nature.
Now that my daughter can enjoy her fruit in her most favorite form, which is fresh, I can enjoy mine in the alternative form: apple butter! Since I’ve never actually made apple butter before, I did however, experience making other fruit butters and jams. So this time, I naturally of course, did my research. Looked up and compare different recipes and devised a recipe I liked.
You will be using the whole apples at first since the skins contain great flavor and the core of the apples contain natural pectin, which will help firm up the butter. And because you are using the whole apples, make sure you scrub and wash your apples well. Choosing organic is always the best choice as it reduces the amount of pesticides being used, but you can never be too cautious. I usually soak my fruit and veggies in 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a few cups of filtered water then use a produce brush to scrub them.
Here is the recipe I created and followed:
Apple Butter Recipe
- About 4-5 lbs organic apples (any type)
- 1 cup organic apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup filtered water
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- ½ cup organic coconut sugar
- Juice of one organic lemon
- Organic cinnamon, nutmeg, clove spice, as desired
- Cut the apples in quarters, keeping the core, seeds and skins intact.
- Place apples, water and apple cider vinegar in an 8 quart all stainless steel spot. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer and continue cooking until the apples are very soft. About 20-30 minutes.
- Pour contents into a food mill or sieve to separate the skins and seeds then transfer the remains into a wide mouth pot. Add sugar, lemon juice and spices. You can also place contents into a blender to form a creamier texture or continue without one if you prefer a more chunky consistency like I do.
- Cook uncovered on medium to low heat for about 1-2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes and scraping the bottom of the pot to avoid the formation of a crust.
- Continue cooking until the mixture becomes an smooth, thickened, jam like consistency and enjoy!
- To store the apple butter, you can place it in sterilized jars by rinsing them out and its parts in hot, boiling water and allowing them to dry. Or you can rinse the jars in hot water, dry them and place them, without lids, in an oven at about 200°F for about 20 minutes.