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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Apple Butter

I have made Apple Butter many times but always baked it in the oven for three hours rather than doing it the old fashioned way in a copper kettle over a wood fire. I've seen it being done that way but never helped. As of today, that is no longer true.
My sister has a copper kettle and today we gathered at her house to try our hands at an old fahioned apple butter boil. The huge kettle would hold about thirty gallons of apples but we only made a small batch. We dumped in six gallons of applesauce and added sugar and cider. It has to be stirred constantly to keep it from burning on the bottom of the kettle. We took turns and here is proof that I took my turn stirring the pot.

The apple butter was finished sooner than we expected. That was probably because it was such a small batch and the fact that we started with applesauce instead of raw apples. In less than three hours it was time to stir in the spices and dip out the finished product. The yield was about three gallons so we each wound up with about half of the amount of applesauce we contributed. This is my favorite picture of the day. My sister is filling jars with apple butter while one of her grandsons takes care of the important detail of taste testing. I always said making apple butter by the oven method produces the same results as making it in a copper kettle but I will have to adjust my tune a little. The apple butter we made today has a little different twang than the stuff made in the oven. It's probably the wood smoke that does it.

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