Old-Fashioned Apple Butter and Fried Biscuits always reminds me of country cooking and brisk autumn days. 🍁 I remember a long closed buffet restaurant called Mac’s Steakhouse in Shelbyville, Indiana (Greenfield, IN, too) that used to serve up deep fried biscuits with a sweet, cinnamony apple butter to dip them in. So good you could make yourself sick eating too many! Making apple butter is a little bit labor intensive and the best way to make it is to separate the skins and cores from the pulp after the apples are cooked – not before! I’ll show you two simple ways to do it. 🍎
Old-Fashioned Apple Butter
The reason you’d want to leave the skins on the apples while cooking them is because all the natural pectin is found in the skins. Before you run the cooked apples through a food mill, let them sit in a strainer over a clean pot or bowl to collect the juice. Now you can also make apple jelly without the need for store-bought pectin. I grew up with the “waste not, want not” attitude. It’s nice to get two products from one batch of fruit. 😃
Old-Fashioned Apple Butter
- 6 lbs. apples, quartered (should yield about 12 cups of apple pulp)
- 6 cups sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 tsp. allspice
6 pint or 12 – 1/2 pint freezer containers or prepared (sterilized) canning jars (may not need all of them)
Place quartered apples in a large stainless steel or enamel stock pot (not aluminum), add water halfway up apples, and cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until apples are super soft and mushy. Let cool for 10 minutes or so.
If also making jelly, carefully pour apples and juice into a large fine mesh strainer over another pot or large bowl. Let sit for several hours, until no longer dripping into pot.
Put drained apples through a food mill or smash through a small-holed colander until all the pulp is separated from the skins and seeds.
Measure the pulp into a stainless steel pot. Add sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and spices.
Bring just to a low boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, for about 15 minutes. If too liquidy, continue cooking until thicker. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of saved juice or water.
Ladle the hot apple butter into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space, if canning. Put on hot, sterile lids and screw on rings. Process pints 10 minutes or 1/2 pints 5 minutes in boiling water bath. When cool, test for seal.
If freezing, ladle into containers leaving a 1/2″ head space and let cool before putting on lids. Store in the freezer for up to a year. Let thaw in the refrigerator to use.
Cooking the apples:
Using a food mill:
Using a large spoon and strainer:
Cooking & Canning the Apple Butter
- Canned biscuits, any kind
- Vegetable oil or shortening
- Apple butter and/or powdered sugar and/or cinnamon sugar
Pour oil into a deep frying pan or pot. Turn heat to high. Pinch off a tiny piece of dough from a biscuit and drop into the oil. When the dough starts sizzling, turn the heat down to medium and gently place a biscuit into the oil with tongs or slotted spoon. Let fry on one side for about 2 minutes. Gently turn over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Experiment with a biscuit or two to find the right amount of time needed to cook the biscuit all the way through without burning.
Carefully remove the browned biscuit from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. While still hot, sprinkle both sides with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar or just dip into apple butter.
The old saying was “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I don’t know if that’s true or not, it certainly could be! If it is, I’ll leave you with a few other apple recipes that will at least make you happy while eating them. Firstly, Carol’s Super Moist Apple Bread warm with a smear of butter is simply divine. Secondly, Big Apple Fritters is a recipe tested by my gal-pal, Norma, and is definitely a winner!
Happy eating! 😊