I grew up only watching Mom "can" strawberry jam and salsa, thus when my neighbor asked me to help her make and can apple butter, I was nervously excited! If you remember a past post, I canned salsa myself this year, but other than that I had never processed food by myself, let alone process something like apple butter that Mom's never even done! I guess my Grandma Quail used to make it... I wonder if any of my aunts have her recipe... Dad, you should check into that ;)
As for the recipe we used, it was my neighbor's aunt. We made a huge mess, but the kitchen smelled yummy all day so of course it was worth it! Grizz and I have yet to open a jar, but we'll let you know how it tastes once we do!
First we had to boil apples. Whole apples. Skins and all. Oh, and the apples were Jonathons.... never heard of them before my the aunt swears by them! So, they boiled until they were soft enough to mush. We probably tried mushing them too soon, but we definitely learned to be patient with the softening apples.
Here's neighbor's method of mashing... It's a sieve and wooden paddle for squishing the apples through the holes, but of course the holes aren't big enough to let the skins and seeds through. Neighbor got a blister from it. The sieve belonged to her grandmother, I think.
Here's my method of squishing apples... it's a potato ricer, but before this day, I had no idea its also a fruit press! I received it for the sole purpose of ricing potatoes for lefse. But, in went a soft apple, out came the mush... and the icky stuff was scrapped away!
Here are the leftover skins, seeds and stuff too hard to be mashed and pressed. We put it outside to feed the birds and squirrels :)
Once we had it all mashed, we added some cinnamon and other stuff (I still need to copy the recipe from her). It had to cook for about 2 hours. In went a movie to waste some time... The Wedding Date :)
Final product! After the boiling water bath, the lids sealed like they should - what a relief! (hopefully no botulism for us, ha)
And so, Neighbor learned about hot water baths, and I learned how to make apple butter. It was a good day :)