Canning & Preserving: Rustic Apple Butter

I love to make canned goods for friends and this week I learned a new recipe for Rustic Apple Butter. Beth Lord of the lovely shop, indie-pendent in Atlanta has workshops in her upstairs space so when I saw one one on the calendar for Canning & Preserving, I was there with my camera and tripod.

Lyn Deardorff instructs the class and she is the mama of canning. With forty years under her belt, Lyn knows the art of preserving inside and out. The best part about this Rustic Apple Butter recipe is she leaves the skins on the apples. As she explains, "Peels add flavor, texture and nutrition and the peels also contain pectin which help jams, jellies and butters set during processing."

And perhaps the biggest advantage is that when you use the peels, you need a lot less sugar for your recipe- or none at all. *We used less than a cup of the Agave syrup for our Apple Butter and it was super tasty...

Begin by washing your organic apples and sanitizing your mason jars and lids in boiling water for at minimum, ten minutes. 

This recipe makes 6 half pints of Apple Butter: 5 pounds juicy organic apples (such as Gala, Winesap, Jonathan, McIntosh or Stayman); 1 cup of water or apple cider; 1 cup (or to taste) sugar (or brown sugar, turbinado sugar or agave syrup); 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon; 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves; 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg; 1/2 teaspoon allspice. Wash the apples, remove cores and blemishes and cut into quarters.  

Place the apples and water or cider into a stainless steel or heavy enameled pot. Cook over medium heat until soft enough to puree. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. 

Next, place the apples in a food processor or blender (in small batches if necessary) and blend to puree consistency and until the skins are finely ground. Return to kettle and add sugar. Bring to a low boil and continue stirring until the sugar is melted. 

Next, you can either A) Cook quickly over medium high heat to brisk boil, stirring constantly as apples can burn easily or B) Place in 300 degree oven stirring occasionally to prevent skin from forming on top. By either method, continue cooking until thickened, so that the puree mounds slightly on a spoon and has a sheen to it. On a candy thermometer, it will be slightly under 220 degrees. 

Ladle your apple butter into clean, hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headroom. Remove air bubbles, clean jar edges and cap with lids and bands. Process the newly bottled jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Then remove and cool jars for 24 hours. Store in a cool, dark place. 

Lyn has her own line of delicious, organic, local and healthy fruit butters, pickles, relishes and condiments. Click here to learn more. Thank you to Lyn, Beth and all who participated. My tummy thanks you too...Happy canning...


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

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Reader Comments (8)

This looks so good. I'm going to make it this weekend so thank you for the inspiration!

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I love the idea of keeping the skins on. No need to add excess sugar, this is a great recipe.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Gold

I just started canning this year. I've done jalapenos, lemons, beets and onions so I like how this is a new recipe for me to try. It looks like a good one.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCams

My mom used to make an apple butter like this! Brings back great memories. I need to start making some to continue the tradition as I no longer have her recipes. Thanks for this.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWendy B.


April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

I love the idea of using agave. Less sugar is usually better I find.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLayla Jenner

Looks amazing. I want some!

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGretta

Thank you for sharing! I'm new to canning and I'm going to use your tutorial/recipe this weekend!

April 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

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