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Monday, September 14, 2009

What to do with Apples

We have apple trees in our yard. There's lots to do with apples in the summer.
You can pick them off the ground and take a bite out of them, you can fry them (yum!), you can make apple pie jam, you can just let them be and let the deer eat them or you can make apple butter.

I made stove top apple butter today. And let me tell you, next year my husband is going to spray the trees, because if you don't you will end up having to cut out more of the apple than you can keep. My apples have been falling off the trees every day and I go and pick up the best ones and take in the house. Here's a bunch with bruises, bad spots and all. They were pretty small this year, I think it was because the trees were loaded.

After about 2 1/2 hours of peeling, slicing and cutting out bad parts, I ended up with a big bowl full. As I peel the apples, I toss them in 4 quarts of water with 2T of salt mixed in the water so they won't turn brown. I'd been debating on whether or not to make apple butter out of them this year, I dreaded it because the apples were all bruised and messed up inside, but I did it. If you have nice big apples, this is a lot easier and quicker. If you want it to be even quicker, just buy unsweetened apple sauce and use it instead. That's what I do sometimes. Buy enough to equal 8 cups of applesauce.

I put them in a big pan and cooked them until they were soft. I added a little water (about 1/2 cup or so). Usually after cooking them, I put them in a blender and blend until smooth. Today I did something different, I mashed them with a potato masher and then used a hand mixer. It's a lot chunkier this way, but I think it will be fine.

Measure out 8 cups of the applesauce mixture. Add 5 1/2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of cinnamon red hots and 1/3 cup of vinegar.

Stir together and boil for 20 minutes.

Don't forget to add and stir in a drop of cinnamon oil after it is finished boiling.

Put into sterilized jars and listen for the ping when they seal. Aren't they pretty?

It's supposed to make 5 pints, and it usually does. But, this time I had leftovers that I put into a bowl and put in the fridge. So, if you want to be on the safe side you could sterilize an extra jar to have on hand in case you need it.

So that's it! I'm finally through canning, jelly making and freezing for the summer! No more! It's time to rest!


  1. Sounds yummy:) We have 27 apple trees and only 1 tree has some apples this year due to any early may freeze. Even the local orchards lost all their crop this year:(

  2. That looks soooo good,and such a pretty color...some people have never heard of putting the red hots in but boy aint it pretty and taste as good as it looks...

  3. That sounds like a great recipe! How does it compare to the Half Way Market's apple butter? I have tried to make apple butter with applesauce and it was just terrible. Must have not had a good recipe???? What kind of vinegar did you use?

    You would think that our farm would have had some apple trees on it when we bought it but it didn't! We were supposed to plant some trees and now my husband doesn't want to because he doesn't want to have to mow around them with the tractor! Men!!! I guess if I want an apple tree or any tree to be in our yard I'm going to have to do it while he is at work! I can see it now, him telling me how he accidentally ran over it when he was mowing! lol

    I really want to can but I don't have anything to can! Our garden didn't do that well at all this year. I've done good to freeze some corn that I bought from Gritts. It was the best corn I've ever had though.


  4. My sister's boyfriend, in Virginia, has been shaking his apple tree everyday so that the deer will come out of the woods to eat. He loves watching them and even gets close to one of the does. She's almost ready to let him feed her by hand.

    Thanks for the applesauce recipe. Never saw one with red hots in it, but it looks spectacular! xxoo

  5. When you threw in the cinnamon candies, I KNEW it had to be good. The apple butter looks so pretty in their jars!

  6. I do enjoy this time of year when all these canning recipes and the like come out. It so reminds me of my younger days when I would watch mom do all the canning and stuff.

  7. Your apples look like ours did. Well, the few we got the crows and deer didn't.
    I'm saving this receipe for next year. Your result looks delicious.
    I noticed a 4-H club is doing apple butter at the festival in
    P-burg this weekend.

  8. thanks for the comments everyone. Angela, I used apple cider vinegar and I have never heard of Half Way Market's apple butter, so I don't know how it compares. I love it, I put the red hots in it to make it the pretty red color. I don't like the brown color of the store bought apple butter and this tastes much better than the store bought kind.

  9. The does look pretty!
    Cinnamon red dots? Gotta be good. I love those things by themself.


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