Friday, October 9, 2009

Apple Butter

When I made this apple butter, about a week ago, I had plans to take lots of pictures and do a tutorial, but, I've never made it before, so I had some trial and error, and I didn't take pictures of every step :] The apple butter came out completely delicious and I will share with you what I did, with all of the 3 pictures I ended up taking :]
Begin by cutting your 2 1/2 pounds (I used about 14 medium) tarte cooking apples. Cut them into quarters without peeling or coring them, I read that the core contains a lot of the natural pectin from the apple, and the peel has a lot of flavor, plus, I'm lazy and just figured I could pick out the peels later, even though I don't have a mesh strainer, it will be easy to get the cores and peels out right? ...
Put your apples in a pot along with about 1 cup of liquid to boil it in, I used apple cider, but you can use apple juice or water. I also added some apple cider vinegar, which is optional, I was chicken and added only 1/8 of a cup, but it smelled so good I added another 1/8 :]
Boil the apples for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Speaking of which...

This was about the point where I started panicking because the apples were so soft that they were falling out of their peels, so there was no way I could just take out the peels and cores, I was so naive at the beginning of this :]
You'll also notice one red apple that I used because I ran out of green, but I didn't realize red apples take much longer to cook than green apples, so I had to throw it out :]

Anyways, after the apples cooked, I took my plastic strainer, which is all I had, and used a wooden spoon to press all the apple sauce out.
Then I added 1/2 cup sugar for every one cup of apple sauce, I had 2 cups, so I used 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of regular sugar.
Next I added spices, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp cloves. I stirred it all together and put it in a glass baking dish in a 300 degree oven for about 3 hours, stirring every so often.
After I took it out of the oven, I put it through the food processor to make it super smooth, and then I canned it, I filled 2 pint jars, and about 1/2 of a 3rd jar, which I just kept in the fridge. The other jars I processed in boiling water for about 10 minutes.
Apple butter is so good, it just tastes like fall, I put it on toast all the time, and biscuits. Let me know if you try this!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Little Ballerina

So the other day, I found a cute little Ballerina Music Box at Target, for only three dollars! And it plays Swan Lake music, which is my favorite ballet! The only thing was, she was missing her little tutu. But what kind of a crafty girl would I be if I couldn't remedy that situation? So I used the tiniest amount of pink tulle, white ribbon, and a needle and thread to give her a performance-worthy tutu.