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Apple butter is thickened, sweetened, spiced applesauce used as a spread on bread or better still, toast. It's wonderful stuff, made all the better by the fact that I recently discovered it can be made in any bread machine with a jam cycle. Here's what you need to try this (from the Betty Crocker breadmaker instruction/recipe booklet):

  • The aforementioned bread machine with jam cycle setting.
  • 3 cups applesauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons powdered fruit pectin (this makes it gel/jell)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • heatproof container(s) for storage (the jar(s) the applesauce came in will do fine)

Now all you need to do is combine these ingredients in the bread machine pan, plug the machine in, set it to the jam cycle, and press START. Come back when the machine beeps "done" and pour the apple butter into the heatproof containers. Be careful; it's hot! Close the jars and refrigerate about 3 hours; if you're lucky, the jars will vacuum seal themselves as what little air inside shrinks while cooling. If the jars do seal themselves, you can store the apple butter at room temperature until opening; otherwise keep it in the fridge.

Makes a metric buttload of apple butter (~3 1/2 cups).

This is the recipe that I use for apple butter. It's different from the one above in two main ways -- one is that you use a crock-pot instead of a bread machine, and the other is the use of apple cider and apples instead of applesauce.

Ingredients --

Directions --

Core and chop unpeeled apples (usually I use an apple-corer-peeler and stick the peels in with the cut sections).

Combine apples and cider in a crock-pot. Cover and cook on low for 24 hours.

Puree the mixture in a food mill or sieve (to remove the peels). Return the pureed mixture to the crock-pot. Add sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Cover and cook on low for one hour or so. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal (the jars can be prepared by running them through a dishwasher with the heat setting on -- if you take them out immediately and fill them, they should be hot enough).

Makes about 8 cups.

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