Apple Pie Filling you may find that you end up with a huge pile of apple skins. These are not garbage... Go ahead and dispose of the cores (or dump them in the alley for the resident deer population to munch on). While you're peeling apples keep a large crockpot nearby. Toss the skins in the pot as you go (have it turned on low heat) and toss a cinnamon stick in there too. If the pot is left open as you work, be sure it doesn't boil dry (add a little water) and keep it going all day.
I'm sure once you're done processing pie filling you'll have tons of energy to do apple butter.... I DON'T (we do 2-4 batches of filling and I'm beat). So I leave that baby cooking all night. Before bed I cram it full (because the skins cook down a lot) by using a simple corer/wedger and stuffing as many apples in there as I can. I fill a 2.5 qt and a 3.5 qt crockpot (so 6 qts.) and leave them bubbling all night.
Then in the morning we wake up to a heavenly apple smell. I turn off the crock pots to cool while we get our morning routine out of the way. A couple hours later I get going on it.
Apple Skin Apple Butter20 Cups apple skins chunks and wedges slow cooked ~18hrs
1 1/2 cups Honey
1 1/2 tsp salt (w/out iodine)
I scoop the apple mush (removing cinnamon sticks!) into my blender until it's filled to the 5 cup line. Then I blend until smooth and pour into my large pasta pot. Repeat until all of the apples are pureed. Adjust your recipe according to the amount of apple mush you measured (ex: 3/4 cup Honey for 10 cups of mush). Measure before blending since it adds air and makes it seem like more volume. Heat until simmering and add honey and salt.
I can mine in pints or 1/2 pints, processing 15 min + my 10 min extra for altitude (don't forget to adjust for altitude). I've been using a Victorio Steam canner (which is awesome) but a water bath method also works.
Feel free to adjust the recipe! If you only have sugar you can use sugar. I am trying to consume less sweets so this recipe is not super sweet... you could double the amount of sweetener in the recipe (if you want it sugary like jam). I have also added pectin before to make it thicker just following the jam directions (it is expensive so I usually leave it out since I make so much).
I use apple butter as a spread on toast or English muffins (I smear a little normal butter on and then the apple butter (like I do with jam). We eat a lot of oatmeal (microwave 1/3 cup oats with 1/2 cup whole milk for 1 min). One of my kids favorite stir ins is a big scoop of apple butter (I also like to add some flax seeds and a spoon of plain yogurt to mine.)
Peanut Butter Apple Fluff: To make sandwiches I make a goober mix (half creamy peanut butter half apple butter) and spread it generously between two slices of bread. The kids call it Peanut Butter Apple Fluff. You can use crunchy peanut butter (but the moisture from the apple butter can make the chunks soft). So I only use crunchy on sandwiches that will be eaten right away. Peanut butter Apple Fluff is like frosting.... it is also good to sandwich between graham crackers before putting them in an airtight container in the fridge... You get soft and cakey graham bars after a few hours... such a yummy treat. I think I will use it to frost a cake sometime in the near future... when the baby is okay-ed to eat peanuts.
Let me know if you try this... or if you made any excellent alterations. Share your favorite ways to use apple butter. I love comments.