Last year, the hubs (then fiance) and I took a trip to upstate New York to visit my dear friends Anna and Garrett. It was a great weekend, we enjoyed a make-your-own-pizza night at their church, shopped at my favorite little bulk food market (because, cheese curds), visited a few farmers markets, played with Anna & Garrett’s goats….and made a ton of apple butter.
Why, you ask?
Because we gave 4oz jars of apple butter as wedding favors. :)
It was fun, but it was a full day (and a half!) of work. Together, we ended up with roughly 165 small jars of apple butter. The people at the farmers market might have thought we were crazy.
Since we were making so much, we had an outrageous recipe.
- 5.8 gallons of cider
- 1.76 bushels of apples, different varieties
- 8.8 lbs of sugar
- Cinnamon & nutmeg to taste
Our portions, however, ended up very approximate (because I don’t’ know who is going to measure out exactly 1.76 bushels of apples…). We followed this recipe, very loosely.
And we peeled. We peeled and we peeled. We broke out the peeler and the corer, and peeled some more.
And the goats enjoyed the fruits (ha) of our labor.
We started by boiling down the cider until it thickened, then added the apples and sugar and simmered them until they could be easily mashed. This took hours, and lots of constant stirring. By the end we had 3 stove pots and two crock pots going! When it was about finished, we added some cinnamon & nutmeg. All the while we sanitized the jars for canning, and had canners boiling away at the ready.
It was a fairly messy process, but it all came together in the end.
This was my first experience with canning. Why not jump in with both feet, right? It was great to learn about the process with friends who are much more experienced. I felt like a pro after 150+ jars canned. I can can anything!
Phew. It was definitely a labor of love. But it came out great (if I do say so) and it was so nice to give wedding favors that we had crafted ourselves, with the help of Anna and Garrett (thanks, A & G)! Since the jars were sanitized and hermetically sealed, the apple butter kept perfectly – we just made sure to store it in a cool, dry place.
And in case you were looking for a recipe that’s a little bit more reasonably proportionate, here are some other yummy-sounding apple butter recipes: