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!