It’s that time of year again when the air starts getting crisp, and the apples aren’t far behind! Apples are an autumn staple, so check out below for some fun apple activities to get you in the spirit of the coming season.
Of course, you could buy apple butter in the store, but where’s the fun in that? There’s nothing more satisfying than spending an afternoon lovingly creating something that you can enjoy for the rest of the season. Apple butter has limitless potential for spicing up any boring breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Give this recipe from Baked by Rachel a chance!
Stovetop Cinnamon Apple Butter
- 2 ½ lb apples (roughly 8 cups)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ cup apple juice or apple cider
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
- Peel, core, and slice apples. Add to 5-6 quart Dutch oven or extra-large saucepan. Toss apples with lemon juice to prevent browning. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over apples. Toss to coat well. Stir in apple juice (or apple cider) and vanilla.
- Cook over medium heat until apples are tender. Use an immersion to puree apples. Alternatively, transfer batches of apple mixture to a blender to process until smooth.
- Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally for between 1 ½ and 2 hours. Apple butter is done when it is thick and jam like. It should hold its shape on a spoon and not slide off immediately. You can also test by creating a straight line through the mixture with a spatula. If the mixture holds its shape and does not immediately close the gap, it is done.
Check out the large batch recipe and canning instructions here!
Wondering what to do with all the apple scraps you just created? Take a look at this homemade apple cider vinegar recipe from Wellness Mama. Apple cider vinegar has so many health benefits, including weight loss, reduced cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels, and even improved diabetes symptoms. It is an ancient folk remedy that people have been using for generations!
Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe
- apple scraps
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 2 cups filtered water
- Clean a quart jar very well and let air dry. Fill the jar ¾ full with apple scraps.
- Dissolve the cane sugar into the cup of water. Pour sugar water over the apples until they are completely submerged. Add a little additional water if needed to make sure the apples are covered.
- Weigh down the apples with a fermentation weight or with a small glass jar. Any apples that are exposed to the air could mold.
- Cover with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Store in a dark place at room temperature. Leave it for approximately 3 weeks. Check on it every few days to make sure the apples are staying under the water and to make sure no mold is growing.
- After 3 weeks, it will still smell fairly sweet. Strain the apple pieces out and return the liquid to the jar. Recover and put the jar back in a dark spot for 3-4 weeks, stirring every few days. When the vinegar has reached the “tartness” you like, you can put a lid on it!
Obviously, both of these recipes are a little bit sweeter when made with one of our many varieties of apples here at Orr’s. Come down this season and see for yourself! We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.