Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Canning Applebutter

I have officially completed number six on my 40 Before 40 list! My mom and I made homemade applebutter over the weekend and canned roughly 14 jars! It was so much fun and I learned so much about the art of canning. I want to share it all with you. Stick with me. This post is a little lengthy!

My mom started canning at the age of 10 with my great-grandmother, Bessie Tedder. Mom was in charge of washing the jars! From there she was promoted to peeler where apparently they would peel bushels of apples on the small screened in porch at the back of the farm house. From there, my great-grandfather Earnest Tedder, would place all the cored, peeled and thinly sliced apples in an extremely large metal vat, for lack of a better term, that was placed over an even larger open flame. He would stir the apples with an oar to keep the liquid from splattering on him. As a small child I remember these images but was never able to participate.

Because of this, I added canning to my list. I wanted to make my own and can it in honor of them for the holiday season. With modern technology, we've come a long way since knives and open flames. A good thing too as I'm not allowed to use knives. I always cut myself no matter how careful I am. Enter this amazing coring, peeling and slicing device! Because of the peeler, I was able to get nine pounds of apples cored, peeled and sliced in less than 30 minutes! Had we gone the knife route, we would have been there for hours! 

The recipe is my grandmothers, Helen Fleenor. And according to her recipe, a crock-pot is filled to the brim with apples. As long as the lid can close, you can't have enough apples. You cook the apples on low for 12 hours. Just the apples. After the 12 hours is up, add a sugar mixture and cook for another six hours on high.  Thanks to the amazing crock-pot, this recipe cook time is no longer adjusted by your flame or keeping a constant temperature. If only my great-grandparents had some of these modern conveniences at their disposal! However, I highly doubt they would have used them. And I don't blame them. Why mess with perfection!

While your apples are doing their thing, you need to sterilize everything! Wash your jars, flats, lids, ladle and canner (funnel) ahead of time. You will need to keep the jars warm before adding the piping hot applebutter so place them in a cold oven and then heat to around 200. Keep your flats and lids warm by pouring boiling water over both. Once the applebutter is done, start your assembly line. Place your canner (or funnel) in the jar, fill to just below the opening of the jar, wipe around the rim of the jar, place the flat on top and screw on the lid. Don't put the lid on too tight. You will tighten after the jars have sealed.

I love that we had three generations in the kitchen together and that Joel was able to capture these photos. Priceless!

That's it! Canning is done. And my mom may have created a monster. Now, once I get my garden up and running (number 38 on the list) I want to can beans, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce....

1 comment:

Ellie said...

I would LOVE to can your Apple Butter, but cannot find on your blog page the measurements for "sugar mixture"....please post...Thank-you!!!