Monday, December 16, 2013

Cooking with Beer - Autumn Ale Apple Butter

I like to add a homemade touch to my Christmas presents. That usually means making something crafty like hats, scarves, and mittens. Sometimes it means canning something like pickles, jellies, or hot sauce.

This year I decided to make apple butter with a kick. I added a spiced beer to the recipe and it worked out quite nicely.

This is a recipe for canned apple butter. Make sure you sanitize your jars and lids to prevent contamination which will ruin all your hard work.  The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. Or submerge the jars in a large pot (the canner itself) of water and bring it to a boil. Put the lids into the small pot of boiling water for at least several minutes.

Always start with fresh, undamaged fruit. Quality ingredients really do effect the outcome!

I used Woodstock Inn Brewery Autumn Ale for this recipe; however, any spiced beer would do well in this recipe.

Autumn Ale is medium bodied with apple and cinnamon flavor and aroma.  4.63% ABV.  It's like drinking apple pie beer . . . it is sooooo flippin' good!

Autumn Ale Apple Butter

8-10 Medium Sized Apples
16 Oz Spiced Beer
3 Cups Turbanado Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 Tsp Ginger

Wash, peel and core the apples. Cut them into small chunks.

Combine the apples and the beer in a large stainless steel saucepan.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the apples are soft - 20 to 30 minutes depending on how small you cut the apples.

Press the cooked apples through a sieve or food mill. I used my Kitchenaid with a food strainer attachment to do this step.

Return to the saucepan. You should end up with about 12 cups of apple purée.

Stir in the sugar and spices.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until apple mixture thickens.

Combine apple purée, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a clean large stainless steel saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently until mixture thickens. This can take over an hour. You know it's ready with it's thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.

Prepare canner pot. Put enough water in canner to cover filled jars with at least one inch of water. Bring to a rolling boil.

Ladle hot butter into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.

Remove the jars from the hot water bath and allow to sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours.

Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it.

Now, store them in a cool, dark place and use them as needed. Or give them as a gift!

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