Last year, I posted my Homemade Apple Butter and Fried Apple Pie recipe and tutorial. Since then, I've had several people ask if we make our own apple sauce or do we buy store bought? Well, you can do it either way, but we like to make our own. So, I figured I'd show you the actually process of making apple sauce and how to turn it into apple butter.
First, you will need to pick yourself some apples.
Now use your handy dandy apple peeler. This one peels, slices, and cores the apple all at once. This baby is a jewel. My parents got it in Liberty, Ky at the Amish village. But they do sell them at our local farm supply store also.
Once the apple has been peeled, cored, and sliced, cut the apple in half and cut off any bruises or pieces of peel that may have been missed.
Drop your apples into a bowl of salt water. We don't measure the salt, just put a handful in. Make sure to push the apples down into the water. This just keeps the apples from turning really red while you are working.
Once your bowl is full, drain, rinse, and put them into a cooker with maybe a quart to half a gallon of water so they don't stick.
Cook the apples until they are tender. You will want to bring them to a boil and then turn the heat down and let them boil gently for maybe 20 minutes. Mom never really times this part. You will be able to tell when they are soft while stirring them. Stir every now and then so they don't scorch.
Scoop the apples out and into a strainer. Drain most of the juice. A little is ok.
You can save the juice in the fridge to make Apple Jelly.
Once you have drained the juice, put the apples into the food mill and grind them into applesauce.
Sorry I didn't get a better picture of the actual sauce. You can see it here in the cup. My sister was measuring out the applesauce to make apple butter.
Now, if you want to just keep your applesauce plain, you can put it in tubs and into the freezer. You could also can it. Ball Preserving tells you how, here.
We don't eat a lot of plain applesauce, so we make ours into apple butter. To do this, get yourself some jars. Toss them (gently, lol) in the dishwasher. Don't forget the detergent. Put that sucker on HOT water and a heated dry.
Now put your lids, and rings in your water bath canner. The water just needs to be simmering.
Measure your applesauce back into your big cooker. Mom uses 16 cups of applesauce and 12 cups of sugar. You put 3/4 a cup of sugar to every 1 cup of applesauce. Now add in 5 Tbsp of Cinnamon and Cloves to taste. Mom uses 1-3 tsp. We used 3 tsp in this batch.
Now, bring this to a boil, stir a lot. You do not want it to stick. Reduce the heat a little and boil for at least 25 minutes. You want to be able to raise the spoon up out of the apple butter and for it to stick to the spoon. You don't want it runny. If it is still too thin after 25 minutes, continue to boil a few more minutes.
After your apple butter is done, carefully put into your sterile jars.
It is decision making time. If you are going to store your apple butter in the fridge, put on your lids and rings and turn the jars upside down on a towel for 5 minutes. Then turn them back upright. Your lids should start sealing quick.
If you would rather store the apple butter on shelves, you will want to can it. To do this, put the jars in your boiling water canner with at least 1 inch of water over the jars at all times. Boil for 15 minutes. (adjust for altitude)
That is it. Enjoy!