Saturday, September 13, 2008

Make Now--Give Later

Apples are in this time of year. It's time to plan ahead for Christmas. If you are like me, you never have enough of those little gifts to give to people like Sunday school teachers, the postman, the hairdresser, etc. I don't know too many people who don't like apple butter and with a little dressing-up on the jar, it becomes a wonderful Christmas gift. Here's how to make a big batch:

3 quarts sweet cider
8 lbs apples washed, cored, and quartered (sweet-tart apples work best) 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Place all into a roasting pan and set the oven for 325°. Let bake uncovered until apples cook and mixture thickens. Stir occasionally to break up apples and get proper consistency. About 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours later, carefully ladle the hot mixture into clean sterile canning jars. Be sure to wipe any apple off of the rim of the jar. Close with hot sterilized lids and rings. Turn jars upside down. Lids will seal as contents cool. (You know they are sealed when you can press the top of the lid and there's no give.)

Jar lids may be decorated with fabric and/or ribbons. I like to cut swatches of thin Christmas fabric that I buy on sale after Christmas or find on the remnant table. I carefully unscrew the metal ring on the jar and place the fabric over the metal lid. Then screw the jar ring back down. You can tie a piece of thin satin ribbon or curling ribbon around the lid and add a small ornament or cut a design from an old Christmas card and punch a hole through it to make a little gift card to tie on.
What do you like with apple butter? Muffins? Toast? Biscuits?


windycindy said...

Apple butter is wonderful. My 90 year old dad loves it! Thanks for another wonderful recipe. Cindi

Anonymous said...

Really nice reciepes. I run and operate: Christmas Gifts Ideas