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A Canning Apple Butter How-To With Mom

by Meghann on November 3, 2011

Hi everyone! This is Meals and Miles’ mom!

I just love fall and everything that comes with it, especially apples! I grew up in Alabama, in a valley where the leaves changed in the fall and the scenery was full of oranges, reds and yellows. I remember in school, we would collect leaves from the different colorful trees, then iron them between two pieces of wax paper to create a fall memories book.

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Of course, with the fall leaves comes the fall harvest — pumpkins, corn, squash and other scrumptious vegetables and fruit. Didn’t I already say fall is wonderful?

As you probably read from past posts, Meghann, her dad and I recently took a little trip to Tennessee. Although I love Florida, we don’t really have a change of seasons. The trees stay green until February then drop leaves as new buds are arriving. So in order to enjoy fall, we have to drive a fair distance, but it’s worth every mile!

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Of course, Florida offers citrus trees. I used to snicker at the tourists stopping at an orange grove to take pictures, until I found my self posing with the apple trees.

During our travels, we happened upon a little “happy apple” orchard near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I knew I had to buy apples. It’s such a cool concept to purchase a product directly from where it’s grown and to see the trees they were picked from. I never knew that there was such an abundance of apple varieties — Arkansas Black, Jonathans, Grannys, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome … you get my point. I just have to try them all!

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To help preserve our purchases, my husband and I decided to make apple butter. Canning was a foreign concept that was scary and intimidating, but I learned it’s really easy!

Why apple butter? I experienced my first taste of this tantalizing creation at the Dillard House in Dillard, Georgia, and I fell in love with it. All it took was one spoonful and I was hooked! So I knew I had to try to recreate it.

You start with a bunch of apples. It is recommended to use the harder variety, such as Jonathans or Arkansas Blacks. I used a variety of apples, including some Golden Delicious and Granny Smiths. You peel and core the apples and cut them into bite-sized pieces before throwing them into a crock pot — I have a very large one!

I cut enough apples to fill the crock pot to the top, then added some cinnamon and sugar. Once the apples were covered, I cooked them on low all night long. It takes 8-10 hours to cook down. It will look like a mush!

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Meghann just happened to give me a kit for canning that Ball had sent her this summer. It was awesome! It included an instruction book on how to can, as well as tongs, a funnel, a couple of jars, a jar lifter and pectin. Canning made easy — I like that.

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I washed the jars and lids in soapy water, then rinsed them and let them dry. Next, I started boiling a big pot with water and prepared another big pot with an inch of water. In the second pot, after the water was boiling, I inverted the jars top down and put the rings and lids in to sterilize them.

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After approximately 10 minutes, I pulled the jars out and filled them with the butter. The instructions say to fill to ¼ inch from the top. Then, you apply the lid and the ring just finger tight. I then placed the jar in a boiling water bath that just covered the top of the jar.

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Next, I boiled the jars, which were submersed under water, for 15 minutes. Then, I took the pot off the heat and let it sit for another five minutes. I then carefully took the jars out using tongs and placed them on cooling racks.

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As the jars are pulled out of the water, you can hear the lids popping in, which is a sign that the seal is good. The instructions given by Ball were easy to understand, so please reference them just in case I missed a step. I now have 10 jars of the most delicious condiment known to man!

Thanks for letting me share my love for fall, and thanks for reading my daughter’s blog! Y’all are awesome.

1 Cat @Breakfast to Bed November 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I love apple butter on EVERYTHING. Great post.
Cat @Breakfast to Bed recently posted..30 Batches, Number One.

2 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Awesome guest post by mom! We used to do the wax paper leaf thing in school too. I hope they still do that, it was definitely one of the more fun artsy projects 🙂
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..Cheesy mushroom stuffed peppers

3 kathleen @ the daily crumb November 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm

awww, love this post! thanks for sharing MandM mom with your readers.
kathleen @ the daily crumb recently posted..roasted eggplant + chickpea salad

4 Leslie November 3, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Great post! I know what you mean about having to go in search for fall colors. I make a trip each fall from Clermont Fl to the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina to hike each fall. So pretty! I did not go this year so Meghan’s pics were as close as I got to fall foliage. I might have to try the apple butter thanks for sharing the recipe.

5 Bri November 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Love the guest post, MnM Mom!

6 Liz November 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Thanks for the guest post, MnM mom! I remember doing those waxed paper/leaf projects as a kid, too (I live in northwestern Ohio). I love fall & all of the stuff that comes with it – pretty leaves, apples, squash/pumpkins, etc. (what I don’t love is when winter comes shortly after…).

7 Angela @living badass November 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Aunt Cathy you need to send one of those jars out west to me! love you
Angela @living badass recently posted..Double Coupons!

8 Cat November 3, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Love the Mom post 🙂

9 Victoria November 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I love that you are from Alabama, too! I’m guessing you grew up in North Alabama, since us LA’ers didn’t really get the color changes.
Victoria recently posted..Running in Vegas

10 Amanda November 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I was totally just brought back to my childhood – I used to LOVE ironing leaves between wax paper with my mom. 🙂
Amanda recently posted..Like Sunshine in a Glass

11 Maria November 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Thanks so much for the information! I had no idea that apple butter was so easy to make, much less canning jars of it!

Isn’t Pigeon Forge just beautiful? I spent many family vacations there growing up!

12 Christie November 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Apple Butter is my favorite!
Christie recently posted..Things I’m loving…

13 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife November 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

How fun! I love apple butter!
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife recently posted..Pumpkin Almond Granola + Thankful Thursday

14 Heather November 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm

What a great post, very informative! I have two giant pumpkins that are now too late for jack o lanterns, so I was contemplating making pumpkin butter but was scared of canning. Maybe I’ll give it a try after all!

15 Amanda November 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I love the canning post! I’m an avid canner. Growing produce and canning it is pretty much the only way I can eat locally, with variety up here with NY winters. Nothing is more rewarding! I hope you continue to can. Trying new recipes is very exciting!
Amanda recently posted..How to clean canning jars

16 Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm

thanks for sharing!!!
Lisa (bakebikeblog) recently posted..My favourite bolognaise sauce

17 Su November 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Awesome posttt… I’ll do it!!

18 Cait's Plate November 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I’m dying to make homemade apple butter. This looks INCREDIBLE.
Cait’s Plate recently posted..November Colors

19 Sonia (the Mexigarian) November 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I remember my mother always used to can and preserve the fruit from the trees in our yard. I never took the time to learn and she stopped doing it as we grew older. Now, of course, I would love to do it. Guess I have to look into getting a Ball canning set 😀 great post.
Sonia (the Mexigarian) recently posted..Pumpkin explosion

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