Have you ever wished for good homemade apple butter, without the 40 gallon copper kettle, and the hours of stirring? Well I can tell you I love apple butter, and I don’t have a copper kettle! However, I do have an 18 quart Roaster Oven, like the ones that are on sale this time of year that will roast a 22 pound turkey! These ovens can be set anywhere and free up oven space for other cooking/baking needs.
If you are a home canner, they are invaluable for making soups/stews, fruit butters, and other dishes to can. They also are great for baking pies, cakes and even baking up to 3 loaves of bread at a time, they are also great for baking hams, roast and chickens in.
Well I have gotten off track here, the topic is Apple Butter, you can buy number 10 can’s of applesauce and add fresh apple cider to it in the roaster oven if you are not up to making your own apple sauce. However I do make my own apple sauce, I have a 25 quart Stainless Steel stock pot, that will hold 1 bushel of quartered apples, no need to peel and core the apples just cut up and place in the pot with several cups of water and over medium heat simmer the apples stirring now and then to get them started. Once cooked, you place in small batches into a Foley Food Mill and puree the apples into sauce.
I then pour the apple sauce into the roaster oven, it is full, so you will have to let it reduce a bit to add cider (which will reduce and acts as part of the sugar) add the spices, reduce more, and taste, if too tart then add some white sugar, brown sugar, and continue to reduce. This sounds like a lot of work, but not really as with the roaster oven you don’t have to stir, however I do from time to time just to see how it is coming along and taste.
It will take about 24 hours to reduce to the consistency of apple butter, I start mine out at about 300 degrees, this gets it going good, then when I got to bed at night I reduce to about 200 degrees,
From one bushel of apples, made into applesauce I got 20 pints of apple butter.
Remember the following recipe is variable according to personal tastes, the recipe is given as a guide, some like more spices, some less, same goes for sugars, also this recipe can easily be reduced in volume to make a smaller amount in your crock pot, the same principals apply, just do no set the lid to cover the pot, it needs to be ajar to allow steam to escape and evaporation to occur.
For those of you wishing to make smaller amounts of apples butter or crock pot apple butter, my friend Karyn Bennett at Lizzy Lane Farm, has two good recipes one of which is sugar free.
Please visit her blog for these wonderful recipes.
1 Bushel Apples
Quarter, or eighth apples and place in stock pot, add several cups of water and allow to simmer stirring once in a while during cooking to bring cooked apples up and raw apples to the bottom, check often to see if you need to add more water, (some apples are dryer than others)
Once the apples are cooked, run through a food mill to extract seeds and peels.
Transfer to your roaster oven, turn heat to approx 300 degrees, if your roaster oven is really full then wait to add the sugars, spices, vinegar, or cider, this may be as much as 8 hours, then add
3+ Cups Brown Sugar
3+ Cups White Sugar
1+ Tablespoons Cinnamon
1/2+ Tablespoon Cloves
1/2 +Tablespoon Allspice
1 Teaspoon Salt (optional- seldom do I add salt)
2-3 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
Stir in thoroughly and and leave the lid ajar (now I find with the roaster oven that it does not spatter like some have said happens in a crockpot) you have much better control of the heat on a roaster oven should it start to spatter just reduce the heat.
Also with the roaster oven you seldom have to stir, (I do because I have to taste and stir and if you think that it needs more sugar, you can add at anytime so it is better start out with less and add later. The same goes for spices.
TO CAN APPLE BUTTER
Sterilize your jars (I wash in the dish washer) fill jars and put lids on according to manufactures directions. Process in Boiling Water Bath for 15 minutes or according to elevation for your area.