Fresh from the apple trees and into the canning jars, here is a step-by-step guide on how to make smooth amish apple butter!
We went on a road trip to Markham, Virginia to visit Hartland Orchard and pick some fresh apples!
This was a very calm and relaxing place to visit. The scenery was so beautiful!
At Hartland Orchard, you can either pick your own apples or buy some that have already been picked for you. We chose to take our afternoon and relax in the beautiful area and pick our own. There were bags and fruit picking poles provided for us.
There were so many delicious apples to choose from!
We were able to pick three, 1/2 bushel bags of apples! We picked a mixture of Fuji, Mutsu, Grimes Golden, Yellow & Red Delicious.
Making the Apple Butter
To begin you will need the following items:
-Hand (Immersion) Blender
-Apple Peeler (not a requirement, but makes the prepping so much easier)
-Canning Jars, Lids & Rings
-Water Bath Canner with Rack
-Canning Utensil Set (again, not absolutely required but makes canning that much easier)
-Scale (to weigh prepped apples if not sure of exact amount to use)
Amazon links below article where you can purchase peeler, blender, and Ball canning kit.
-6 lbs. of Peeled, Cored & Chunked Apples (we used a mixture of Fuji, Mutsu, Grimes Golden & Yellow Delicious)
-2 Cups of Granulated Sugar
-2 1/2 Cups Light Brown Sugar
-1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
-1 3/4 Cup Apple Cider
-1/2 tsp. Salt
*Add spices to your liking.
Place all ingredients in crock pot and mix well. Cook on high setting for 2 hours, stirring periodically. Turn crock pot to low and cook 6-18 hours. (time will adjust according to the size and power of your crockpot, and how thick you like it.) I wait until the Apple Butter mixture is dark brown with the apples starting to disappear and then puree with an immersion hand blender for a smoother consistency.
Step 1: Peel Your Apples
To make this process more simpler and less time consuming we used the Johnny Apple Peeler. It not only peels and spirals, but also cores the apple for you.
Step 2: Weigh Apples & Add to Crock Pot
(I mashed & cut ours with a spatula to make room for the other ingredients)
Step 4: Cook on High for 2 Hours stirring periodically.
Step 5: Cover on Low
When two hours is up, you want to then turn your crock pot on low to cook to your liking. This can take from 6 to 18 hours depending on the size and power of your crockpot, and how thick you like your apple butter to be. You want the steam to escape. To help do this, I placed two knives parallel to each other on top the lip of the crock pot and then placed the lid on top. This helps prevent any bugs or other debris from falling in and allows steam to escape nicely so butter can thicken. It’s a win-win!
Step 6: A Smooth Move!
My butter takes approx. 18 hours to cook down to my liking (your home will smell AMAZING by this time). This makes a dark caramelized brown color and when blended it makes a nice thick, smooth mixture. I use a Hand Immersion Blender for this step. This makes the apple butter as smooth or chunky as you prefer. In our home we like our apple butter thick and without any clumps.
***If you want your apple butter a bit thicker, pour the mixture into a shallow pan (I use a roasting pan), preheat your oven for 350 and allow apple butter to heat up for 5 minutes or until desired thickness. Keep a close watch so it doesn’t burn!***
Step 7: Prepare Jars and Water Bath for Canning
Be sure to wash your jars with soapy water to get them nice and clean! Then sterilize your lids (not your rings) in a saucepan. You don’t want to boil the lids.
Fill water bath half way full of water and allow it to come to a rolling boil as you prepare your jars. This will take about 30 – 45 minutes, so get it going a little early to save time.
Ladle apple butter into your jars ( I used half-pints and full pints). Leave 1 inch head space and stir out any air bubbles using your air bubble remover.
Take a damp paper towel and wipe off the rims of the jars. You do this so there is no residue between the jar and lid to prevent a good seal.
Using your magnetic wand, add your lids to the jars and then your rings. Twist rings on so they are finger tight.
Step 8: Water Bath
For this step, you want your water to be at a rolling boil. Place your rack on the water bath make sure it’s secure until all jars have been placed in it. Place each of your jars on the rack using your jar lifter. Once jars are on rack (mine held seven jars) lower your rack carefully into the boiling water. You want an inch of water above the jars when lowered. (**Tip** Keep a kettle of boiling water on hand in case you need to add a bit more water). Cover your water bath canner with it’s lid and set timer for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes is up, use oven mitts to raise your rack up onto the canner. Wait a few minutes and remove jars with the jar remover tool. Place onto a dish towel in a safe location where they can’t be disturbed by children or pets.
Step 9: Let Cool and Enjoy!Disclosure:
Let your jars cool and seal. Then write the date canned on each jar.
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