The September challenge from the Food in Jars website is Fruit Butters. I really enjoy fruit butter, but rarely buy it at the store. There is something indulgent about the texture and sweetness of fruit butters that prevented me from buying it as a home staple.
This challenge piqued my interest, not only because I love fruit butter, but also because it seemed a pretty simple process. Good for a beginner like me. I decided to try Maple Sweetened Apple Butter from Marisa’s book (I mean, it IS her challenge anyway).
I researched the best apples for the process, but I generally discovered that people recommended you choose whichever apple you like to eat. I chose Gala. The recipe called for 5-6 apples. I cored and chopped 6 Gala apples into large chunks and it was slightly over the 910 grams of the recipe. That’s okay, more apple butter for me!
It took much longer for the apples to soften than the recipe called for. I guess Gala apples are firmer and don’t break down as quickly. No worries, the kids were in their rooms and I wasn’t in a hurry. When the apples were soft enough I dug out my immersion blender and started to puree. I probably should have used a regular blender as the recipe stated because 1.) the immersion blender didn’t puree up the skins as nicely as it should have been. There are some little skin bits in the butter. Not a problem for me, but probably not officially “buttery” enough. 2.) The immersion blender made my hand sooo tired from so much blending.
It really didn’t take much more cooking to get the puree nice, thick, and mounding up on a spoon. I simmered it about 20 minutes before I jarred it up and processed it in the boiling bath.
I ended up with 3 half-pints and one quarter pint that I didn’t boil. I just put it in a little tupperware so the kids and I could gobble it up. I had it stirred into oatmeal this morning and it was delicious!