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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cran-Apple Butter

This recipe was recently featured in our Canning Class, All Things Apple, taught by KSU Extension Staff, Cindy Evans and Karen Blakeslee.  Cindy gave me a big, fat jar of this yummy stuff to take home for my family - I ate the WHOLE thing with a SPOON the next day - it's delicious!   I am anxious to make this to give as holiday gifts this season. 

6 lbs. apples, cored, peeled and chopped
8 cups cranberry juice cocktail
4 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. kosher salt (the original recipe did not call for this)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (the original recipe did not call for this)

1.  In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine apples and cranberry juice cocktail.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Boil, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 15-20 minutes.

2. Using a potato masher, crush softened apples just until a uniform texture is achieved.  (Original recipe says to transfer cooked apples in batches to a food mill or food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until a uniform texture is achieved, but do not liquefy.  My apples always softened enough after cooking 15-20 minutes that I was able to use the potato masher method,  making the perfect consistency!)

3.  In a clean large stainless steel saucepan or dutch oven, combine apple pureee, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat; boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds it shape on a spoon.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

4.  Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars, and lids.

5.  Ladel hot apple butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot apple butter.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar; screw band down just until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight only.

6.  Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring water to a boil and process apple butter in jars for 10 minutes. Wait 5 minutes, remove jars from water, cool and store, making sure all jars seal properly. 

Makes about nine 8 oz. jars or four 5 pint jars. 

Now You're Cannin',
Chef Alli