Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cranberry Apple Butter

Cranberry Apple Butter

Similar to last year, I have canned my face off this summer and fall, and I'm not done yet, I've still got a few recipes that I want to crank out before my craft fair in December. I made this recipe twice this fall, once with Hallie at her house, on an electric stove, and once at my house on my gas stove. I cannot stress enough that this recipe is a bitch to make on an electric stove top. I can't explain the physics behind it all, but if you make it on an electric range you will be cleaning hot apple butter off your ceiling, and most likely be covered in splatter burns all over your arms, ask Hallie if you don't  believe me. I had no issues making this recipe on my gas stove last weekend. I can't explain it. 

This butter is smooth and fresh and tart and rich all at the same time. Very good, especially on a piece of hot toast.

This recipe comes from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which my copy I am glad to say is finally showing its battle scars, with dog eared pages, drips, spears and notes written all over it. I love this book.

This makes lovely little hostess gifts, or teacher gifts, or just gifts to have around the house for when someone comes over and gives you a gift that you weren't expecting and you're like, shit, I didn't get a gift for this person, TaDa, instant gift and awkward moment averted

Cranberry Apple Butter
Makes nine 8-oz jars (I actually got ten jars from my second batch)

6 pounds apples, cored, peeled and chopped
8 cups cranberry juice cocktail
4 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

1. In a large stainless steel saucepan , combine apples and cranberry juice cocktail. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 15 minutes.

2. Working in batches, transfer apple mixture to a food mill or food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquify.

3. In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine apple puree, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon. (This took at least two hours at Hallie's on the electric range, and one hour at my house on a gas range. Again, I can't explain).

4. Meanwhile, prepare canner jars and lids.

5. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if necessary by adding hot butter. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.

6. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Rating = Damn Good

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