Tag Archives: canning

now bite your tongue and say “apple”

30 Oct

Remember doing that as a kid? The stupid things we did to try and get people to curse… so goofy. And it doesn’t even sound right.

I promise this post will be more productive than sad attempts at swearing and the effects better than that of biting your tongue. Ouch.


Apple Pie Butter, baby!

I wanted to make apple butter, but wanted it to be distinctly different than the pumpkin butter. When you start cooking down fruit and throwing around spices it’s all too easy for it to start losing it’s personality. The key to this recipe is one my dearest friends, vanilla. Vanilla really plays up the apples, adds a hint of creaminess and generally just kicks ass.

This recipe yields a lot of butter, so be prepared to eat, make Apple Butter Cookies from 100 BVBR or, reluctantly, share your bounty.

Apple Pie Butter

7 lbs apples, assorted varieties (I used Gala, Pinova, Honeycrisp and Granny Smith)
3 1/2 cups dark sugar
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 teas. ground ginger

Peel and chop up all of the apples. You could always peel them, cut them and then toss in the food processor to roughly chop. I like the hands on prep, so I peel them, cut them with my apple slicer and then chop the slices. Combine apples in a stock pot along with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon and mix well. Cook the apple mixture on medium heat until juices are boiling and apples become very soft and begin to break down, stirring often, about 25-30 minutes.


Process apple mixture in a food mill, processor or blender in batches until it is creamy and smooth.


Return to pot, lower heat a bit and add vanilla. You may wish to add more sugar (do so 1/4 cup at a time) or more spices, to taste. Be mindful that the spices will intensify after canning. Cook down until the mixture is thick and sticks well to a spatula or spoon.


Can according to manufacturers directions in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let cool completely. Makes 4 1/2 pints (I ended up with 7 -1/2 pint jars and 1 pint jar)


I really think that making fruit butter is even easier than making jam, it’s truly so simple. If you are unsure about canning, you can always buy freezer canning jars and make freezer butters- they still make great gifts!

pump up the jam

27 Oct

After my canning frenzy this summer I took a break, but now I’m back in the swing of it with a fall line up of fruit butters in tow. First up, pumpkin butter.

Sadly, the USDA does not recommend home canning of pumpkin butter. This is because pumpkin is low in acidity and has unpredictable water content, neither of which was optimal when canning. I did can my butter, to sterilize and seal it, but am keeping it in the fridge.


I started with four medium sugar pie pumpkins. Halved and seeded, I placed them cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment and baked them at 350 for a little over an hour.


After roasting them in the oven the flesh shrank, making the skin easy to peel.


So colorful and juicy looking! Once peeled, I chopped the flesh into chunks and put it in my pot. I chose to cook it down a little more before just pureeing it, because some spots were harder than others. In went 2 cups of dark brown sugar, 3 tbsp of molasses, the juice of one lemon, 2 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice and one tbsp of cinnamon.


Once all of the flesh was uniformly soft, I pureed the batch in my Vita-Mix then poured it back in the pot and adjusted sweetness/spices to taste. My goal was to get pumpkin pie filling flavor, but because the spices will really bloom as the butter sits, I didn’t want to go overboard and end up with spreadable potpourri.

Once the butter was ready, I laddled it into jars and processed it in the hot water bath for 10 minutes. This made 4 pints of pumpkin butter.


It’s so delicious- spiced, creamy and rich. I love the taste of fall.