I am still doing apple butter. I took a break last week as I was sewing and getting costumes ready. But now I am back to apple butter.
We have a great apple tree in our back yard. I don't really like apples. Our apricots are my favorite. The kids do love apples and will eat them right off the tree. So good! But apple butter is one of my favorites. And Tony's as well. (Raspberry jam is our absolute favorite, but we didn't have many this year.)
So this year with the little girls being so busy and learning new things all the time, I decided that I had to spread it out a bit, or I would be overwhelmed and end up quitting. So I went out the first day and picked some apples for 15 minutes. Then I came in and cleaned them, cut them and put them in a pot to make into apple sauce. While they were cooking (on medium heat), I take a break and either read, play, sew, or do some house work. Then when it's time to start another batch of apple sauce, I don't feel that all I have been doing is apples.
Make sure you set a timer for every 5 minutes to come check on the apples and stir them, as they will burn.
When the apples are soft, I put them in a blender and blend until they are sauce (peels and all, but no cores/seeds). They then go into the slow cooker. I continue this process until I have 16 cups of apple sauce. Then I follow the recipe from my grandma, who got it from her mom and so on.
1 and a half cups vinegar, 8 cups sugar, 5 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves, and cook it down to the desired consistency (4-6 hours). Put it in hot pint jars that have been prepared for canning, seal them in a water bath for 20 minutes for our elevation (about 4700 ft).
I love doing this on cold days. It makes the house smell so good. And with the hot things on, it keeps the house warm and cozy. It really helped today with the clouds and frost on the windshields this morning. It seems colder on these days.
I will sometimes start this first thing and then go about my day smelling apples cooking and then cinnamon added in the afternoon. This makes folding laundry much more enjoyable. Then when I take a break, I drink hot cocoa and either watch a movie with the kids, or read a book. Helps me gear up for when it's time to put it all in jars.