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Last week apples were on sale for a dollar a pound. I’ve been dying to make apple butter so I bought 10 pounds of apples. I bought a combination of Gala apples and McIntosh apples. When I got home and read my recipe I realized I only needed 4 pounds of apples for the apple butter. I started looking through my canning book and found that the cranberry apple butter needed 6 pounds which was exactly how many pounds I had left.
I was skeptical about how thick the cranberry apple butter would get because of the large amount of juice in it. The color of the apple butter was a beautiful, rich pink. The cranberry apple butter was both tart and sweet and had district flavors of both apples and cranberries. It was a bit on the thin side but was still thick enough to spread on toast or crackers.
Cranberry Apple Butter (recipe from Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving)
6 lbs. apples
4 c. sugar
2 qts. cranberry juice cocktail
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1. Wash the apples. Core, peel, and slice the apples.
2. Combine the apples and cranberry juice cocktail in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Simmer until the apples are soft.
3. Pour into a food processor and puree until smooth but not liquified.
4. Prepare a boiling water canner and 3 pint jars.
5. Combine the apple pulp, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook slowly until thick enough to round up on a spoon. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
6. Ladle the hot butter into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and readjust headspace.
7. Put on the 2 piece lid and screw to finger tip tight. Heat in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes with the lid on. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and let cool for 12 hours then check to make sure the lids have sealed. Store for up to 1 year.
**Makes 3 pints**