Fruit butters are made by slowly cooking the fruit pulp to a thick, spreadable consistency. This concentrates the flavours and yields a rich apple flavour and smooth, velvety texture.
Makes about 6 x 250 ml jars.
4 lbs (1.8 kg) crabapples, stems and blossom ends removed, quartered
1 cup (250 ml) water
1 orange (grated zest and juice)
2 cup (500 ml) granulated sugar
1-1/2 tbsp (22 ml) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cloves
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground ginger
• In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine crabapples and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 20 to 30 minutes.
• Working in batches, transfer apple mixture to a food mill or a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy. Measure 6 cups (1.5 L) of crabapple purée.
• Place 6 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
• In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine apple purée, orange zest and juice, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Stir until sugar dissolves. If desired, add 1/2 tsp (2 ml) butter to reduce foaming. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon. (To test for doneness, spoon a small quantity of cooked mixture onto a chilled plate. When liquid does not separate, creating a rim around the edge, and the mixture holds a buttery, spreadable shape; the butter is ready to lade into jars and process.)
• Quickly ladle hot butter into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more fruit butter. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining fruit butter.
• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.
• When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.