This is a compound of apples and cider boiled together till of the consistence of soft butter. It is a very good article on the tea-table, or at luncheon. It can only be made of sweet new cider fresh from the press, and not yet fermented.
Fill a very large kettle with cider, and boil it till reduced to one half the original quantity. Then have ready some fine juicy apples, pared, cored, and quartered; and put as many into the kettle as can be kept moist by the cider. Stir it frequently, and when the apples are stewed quite soft, take them out with a skimmer that has holes in it, and put them into a tub. Then add more apples to the cider, and stew them soft in the same manner, stirring them nearly all the time with a stick. Have at hand some more cider ready boiled, to thin the apple butter in case you should find it too thick in the kettle.
If you make a large quantity, (and it is not worth while to prepare apple butter on a small scale,) it will take a day to stew the apples. At night leave them to cool in the tubs, (which must be covered with cloths,) and finish next day by boiling the apple and cider again till the consistence is that of soft marmalade, and the colour a very dark brown.
Twenty minutes or half an hour before you finally take it from the fire, add powdered cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to your taste. If the spice is boiled too long, it will lose its flavour.
When it is cold, put it into stone jars, and cover it closely. If it has been well made, and sufficiently boiled, it will keep a year or more.
It must not be boiled in a brass or bell-metal kettle, on account of the verdigris which the acid will collect in it, and which will render the apple butter extremely unwholesome, not to say, poisonous.
Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches (1840).
CROCKPOT APPLE JACK BUTTER
Chicken Coop Chatter©
1 dozen large apples (wash, quartered and cored)
1/2 cup + 1 T. Apple Jack brandy
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon or Allspice (adjust to taste)
Wash the apples, cut in quarters or smaller, core. I do not peel the apples, but it is your choice to do so. Place apples in slow cooker with a small amount of brandy to keep from scorching. Set the slow cooker on high until the apples are tender, then on low and allow to continue to cook. Remove the peels. Mash the softened apples and cool on low until the consistency is of soft butter, and most of the liquid has cooked out, stirring occasionally. This can be tested by dropping a spoonful of the apple butter onto a plate of ice cold water. If the apple butter stays in place it is done, if it spreads through the water it needs more time to cook down. I test mine by scooping a spoon full; if it slides right off the spoon needs more cooking time, if it slowly slides from the spoon it's perfect.
Mix the sugar and spice together thoroughly. Stir in the sugar mixture and the additional 1 T. Apple Jack, then pour or spoon the apple butter into clean sterilized canning jars to 1/2 inch from the rim. Adjust lids. Water bath 5-15 minutes for 1/2 pint and pint jars 10-20 minutes for quart jars depending on elevations. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool. Follow strict canning guidelines no matter what you are canning. (http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html)
NOTE: I used Ginger Gold Apples, however Gravenstein and other varieties can be used. If the apples are sweet, you will want to adjust the sugar to taste. The less ripe fruit is, the more pectin there will be for making jelly, Apple honey, syrup and pie filling.
OPTIONAL: Reserve some of the apple butter and spread on dehydrator sheets covered with plastic wrap. Dehydrate until dry but still pliable for Apple Butter fruit leather (no soft spots). Dehydrator temperature of about 140-145 degrees until done (or follow manufacturer recommendations for your specific dehydrator). Roll the leather up with the plastic wrap and place in air tight containers.
Reserve the cores to make Apple Cider Vinegar, Pectin, Apple jelly or Apple juice (see my links below for making these projects). After cooking, strain, and toss the peels and cores to the chickens or compost.
Refer to the link to make your own Apple Vinegar:
Refer to the link to make your own Pectin:
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