Since today is the first day of my self-imposed “Cooking From Scratch Experiment”, I thought I would share with one of the things we spread on all the toast we eat. I made these up for Christmas last year as gifts – along with a Caramel Pear Butter and a Banana Butter. Thankfully I had enough foresight to save some for us too! I love making fruit butters and jams – I am really looking forward to putting up some strawberry and raspberry jam this summer! This recipe is from the Joy of Cooking.
Simple Baked Apple Butter
6 pounds unpeeled apples, I used MacIntosh
8 cups apple juice
1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Wash, stem and quarter the apples and combine in a large saucepan with the juice. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the apples are soft. About 1 1/2 hours. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Pass the apples through a food mill . Return to the pan and add the lemon juice, zest, sugar and spices. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Pour three-quarters of the puree into a deep baking dish, reserving the rest. Bake, uncovered until thick enough to mound on a spoon, about 10 hours. As the mixture shrinks, stir in the reserved puree, and continue baking until the entire mixture is very hot. Pack the hot apple butter into hot 1/2 pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process for 15 minutes.
This is such a yummy and easy way to make apple butter – mostly because once it’s in the oven it takes care of itself. It goes great with homemade bread (see here).
Apples – $.79/pound (I got these in the fall) = $4,74
Apple Juice – $1.79
White Sugar – $.25
Brown Sugar – $.30
Spices – I usually have these on hand
Total – $7.08 for 4 pints (it costs $3.99 for each pint to buy at my local grocery store)
Savings – $2.81 per pint!
I’d call that a success! Do you like to make your own jams and preserves? What are your favorite recipes? I hope you give this a try – it’s easy and tastes great!