A few months ago, I spent some time doing volunteer work in Kenya through the volunteer agency International Volunteer HQ. I stayed with a Kenyan family and volunteered at an orphanage, Internally Displaced Persons camps, and with the Masai (warrior tribes in Kenya). It was an extremely moving experience. Read more.

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    Daring Cooks- the Apple Butter of Knowledge

    Filed under :Apple Butter, Apples, Daring Cooks
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    The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

    “The apple butter of knowledge” is John‘s line.  I don’t claim to be original on that one:)

    When I excitedly checked this month’s challenge, my first, I inwardly groaned.  Food preservation?  I know nothing about canning.  I’ve never made apple butter.  But then I thought- well, isn’t that the point?

    Apple butter doesn’t contain any butter.  It’s called ‘butter’ due to its spreadable consistency.  It tastes like a thicker, smoother applesauce and is great spread on toast or with latkes.

    Making apple butter was decidedly easy.  The hardest part was peeling and coring the apples, but with only 12 apples that wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  It made enough for gifts, so I’ll be handing out a few jars to my cooking club this weekend (read about that next week!).  As for the rest?  To the freezer- it is a preservation challenge after all.

    Recipe adapted from John for the Daring Cooks September challenge.

    Apple Butter

    12 apples- use your favourite kind, I used Gala apples

    1 cup apple juice or cider

    honey to taste

    1 tbsp ground cinnamon

    1/2 tsp ground allspice

    1/4 tsp ground cloves

    apple ingredients

    Ingredients ready to go

    Peel, core and remove stems from apples.  Cut into chunks and place in large saucepan. 

    apple chunks

    apple chunks in saucepan

    Add juice, cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Continue cooking uncovered for about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. 

    Mash apples with potato masher and continue simmering over low heat.  Add spices and honey to taste.  Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth.

    apple butter

    apple butter- note the beautiful colour

    To test for doneness, spoon a small mound of apple butter onto a plate and let it sit for about 2 minutes.  If it doesn’t emit any liquid, the butter is ready.  If it does, simmer a little longer to evaporate more liquid and test again.

    Empty jars

    Jars ready to be filled

    Once done, store in fridge or freeze for future use.

    Apple butter

    finished apple butter