apples in autumn

Apples are the ultimate symbol of autumn. They hang ripe from trees. They fill up barrels and baskets at local markets and grocery stores. They get turned into pies, crumbles, jellies, jams and even butter. A few weeks ago I made apple butter and have been waking up to it ever since. Apple butter is lovely served on whole-wheat buns, pancakes, or even mixed with some oatmeal.

Apple Butter


a nice mix of apples (I used about 8 medium to large apples)
unrefined sugar (I used about 1 1/2 cups)
juice of a lemon

Peel, core and cut apples into medium sized chunks. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil and then cook at a simmer until apples are soft and easily punctured by a fork. Drain apples and then mash (by hand or by machine, as you wish and as you have). Return apples (now resembling apple sauce) to pot and cook over low to medium-low heat. Add sugar, spices and lemon juice to taste. Cook until apples thicken and darken. This can take several hours (around 4 or so) depending on the heat of your stove and your patience. Stir frequently. When apple butter is close to ready, sterilize a couple of jars in boiling water. Add apple butter to jars, seal, and return to boiling water for about ten minutes. This will preserve the apple butter so that it can be stored in your pantry for months. Skip the last step if you are planning on eating it pretty much all at once (which is desirable, of course). Guten!

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