This recipe is from my Grandmere, who made apple butter for years and gave it to family. She is no longer able to make it, but my Grandad gave me the recipe and I've made it a few times now for myself, my family, and friends. I've received many compliments on it, so I've decided that I should share the recipe with others who might be interested in making their own delicious apple butter!
Baked Apple Butter:
Wash and remove cores from 12 lbs of apples (Jonathan or Winesap). Cut them into quarters, nearly cover with water and cook gently for about 1 1/2 hour (I don't usually wait that long, maybe an hour). Put pulp through a fine strainer, measure, and for each cup of pulp add 1/2 cup of sugar.
Add this amount for the whole recipe:
grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
3 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. allspice
Bring these ingredients to the boiling point. Chill. Stir into them: 1 C port, claret or dry white wine. Place about 3/4 of the puree into a large, heat proof crock and keep the rest in reserve. Put the crock in a cold oven, and set at 300°F. Permit the apple butter to bake until it thickens. As it shrinks, fill the crock with reserved apple butter puree. When butter is thick, but still moist, put into sterile jars. Put paraffin on top after butter is cool to a point of setting. No paraffin if two piece metal screw lids. Makes about 5 quarts.
I don't actually measure my apples, I just use a large stock pot and fill it as full as I can, then go on as normal which allows me to make more at once. The flavor of the spices doesn't seem to be diminished at all. I also don't use the oven--it makes me too nervous, so I bought a 6 qt. slow cooker and use that instead, usually leaving the temperature on the high setting. (I usually start mine late afternoon and let it cook overnight, getting up a few times to stir & add reserves, hence the nervousness about the oven.)
Over my spring break, I was able to take a much needed vacation to visit friends in Los Angeles. My only previous experience with the city was due to my very stressful return flight from New Zealand, when I was not impressed with the layer of smog that extended over the city, nor with the apparent showerless state of LAX.
Fine, I'll admit it's not that bad.
(Although don't misconstrue that to mean that I would ever want to live there, I love my clean air and mountains very much, thank you.)
We spent one day doing a little shopping in Santa Monica, and then after a little bit of beach time, walked down Santa Monica Pier.
Over the weekend, we went to the LACMA for the food trucks and socializing. We didn't actually make it into the museum, but hey! At least I got to see this famous exhibit!
A trip to the Getty was also made. I wasn't quite as impressed with any of the exhibits as a whole*, but the views were spectacular!
It was a fairly laid-back trip overall, it wasn't packed full of fun and excitement but I didn't need that. It was just really nice to get out of town for a week and do a few new things, and spend some time with some people that I love.
*of course I like the Ansel Adams exhibit, I'll take any opportunity to view his work up close and personal! I just mean that it was so small! All of the exhibits I was interested in were.
I had a bit of a knitting spree this winter. It began over Christmas break, when I received a gift from my future sister-in-law, but hadn't bought anything for her. So I made a neck warmer. Then, I made a hat for my brother-in-law. By that point I was on a roll. A friend of mine had told me once several years ago that she wanted me to knit her a Hallowig. Since she is back in the US after living in China for some years, I decided it was a good time to start.
Well. The Seahawks made the playoffs, and were kicking everyone's butts. After they won the NFC championship, I had the brilliant idea that I needed a knitted wig for myself in lime green, that I could wear during the Superbowl. Most of the knitting ended up happening the day before thanks to school, and there were many moments of frustration when I screwed something up, but I completed it in time! It was a pretty big hit. I was told in Fred Meyer on Sunday that I should make them to sell! What a brilliant idea!
Too bad this project has put me off knitting temporarily.
While most of my friends and family have been gripped in subzero temps, we've experienced relatively balmy temperatures closer to freezing. This morning, I went out to the garden and took some frosty photos.