Apple Butter Time


Brent and LeAnna Alderman StersteIf I had to choose one taste to remind me of childhood, it would be homemade biscuits (my maternal grandmother’s recipe) spread with homemade apple butter made by my paternal  grandmother. I inherited my grandma’s apple butter kettle, which is a large traditional copper kettle blackened with use, which stands on four cast-iron legs to be used over an outdoor fire. It looks a lot like this one they use at my parents’ church. That’s my dad stirring the apple butter.

Dad stirring the apple butter kettle at their church in West Virginia.

I dream of getting my grandma’s kettle cleaned up someday and using it again, but for now we are forced to make our apple butter indoors. This year we bought a bushel of low-spray Ginger Gold apples from our friend’s farm.  A whole lot of them were eaten straight off, but we did manage to save some for canning.

We used an old-fashioned peeler to prep the apples, which worked great. Ella in particular loved cranking the handle.  (The worms loved the peelings.)

Our new, old-fashioned hand-crank apple-peeler.

After we peeled all the apples, we gave them a coarse chop so they’d cook down faster.   We finally found a way to keep our preschooler busy while we were work: We gave her a butter knife and some apple slices and set her to work.  She took her work very seriously and ultimately declared, “I love helping you cook, Daddy!”

Doris Long_2
1/27/2010 10:46:44 AM

I noticed the color of your apple butter and thought I'd let you know how I make it. When you are ready to add the cinnamon and sugar you can place all in a large roaster and put it in the oven at a very low temperature. Stir occasionally and cook until it turns dark brown. It looks more like what you buy in the store and has a wonderful taste.

S.M.R. Saia
11/30/2009 8:08:53 AM

I tried to make some apple butter this weekend and it didn't turn out. It was my first time. Wish I'd read this before I started!!!! It looks wonderful.

11/27/2009 10:02:23 AM

Yum! Our apples, after looking like they'd produce well, did not survive our crazy summer weather, so we'll have to make our last few jars of apple butter from the previous two years last through the winter. Yours looks delicious.

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