The Holidays are nearly over…do you have leftover apples? This is the perfect time to process them, while it’s cooler outside and the days are short.
Apple Maple Butter
- 7 pounds apples, preferably natural/feral or organically grown
- 1¼ cups pure maple syrup
- 6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 2 large)
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Peel, core and chop the apples. Add the apples to a 4 quart slow cooker, add the remaining ingredients, stir to coat. Cover and set on high for an hour, turn to low and let cook for 12 hours.
Take off the lid, stir and purée with an immersion blender (be careful – it will be VERY hot). Turn to low and cook uncovered for another 2 to 3 hours, stirring often, until thick. Taste for sweetener, adding more if desired (your apples will determine if you need more).
You will need 8 Half-Pint canning jars with rings and new lids (or your favorite combination of sizes), a large stockpot/pasta pot for sterilizing the jars, a canning pot with rack (I use a Granite Ware 706-2 11.5-Quart Covered Preserving Canner with Rack), a canning funnel and tongs. It helps to have clean kitchen towels and paper towels on hand as well.
Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in hot water until you are ready to fill.
Wash the bands and lids, bring a saucepan of water to boil, add them let sit until you are ready to screw them on the jars. (Use new lids each time, bands can be reused.)
Fill the canning pot halfway with water, hang the canning rack on the sides and start heating the water over medium. When you are ready to fill the jars, turn up to high.
Grab a jar with tongs, empty the water out of your jars, fill to ¼” of the top (a sterilized canning funnel works great). Wipe the rims with a new damp paper towel, removing any spilled butter, especially on the rim.
Place a lid on top and tighten a band around each jar, place them into the canning pot, using the canning rack to lower in. Make sure all jars are upright and that jars are fully submerged, with at least 2″ of water above. If not, add some of the hot water out of the pot that held the jars. Cover the pot and bring to boil.
Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Turn off the heat, take out carefully using a jar lifter or tongs. Have a clean kitchen towel on the counter, place each jar on it and let cool for at least 6 hours, overnight is better. Listen for the “popping sound” and keep track of how many times you hear it. Check after cooling that the lid is firm when pressed on, if it pops up and down, it isn’t sealed. If that happens, refrigerate that jar and use within a couple of weeks.
Once cooled, store the jars in a pantry for up to 12 months. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and use up within 3 to 4 weeks.