Cranberry Apple Butter

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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**


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