The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
I grew up with canning. My grandparents had an apple orchard and a huge garden, which filled the little room in the basement with jars floor to ceiling every year. We lived near lots of farms, wild berries all around and pretty much everyone had at least a small garden – not to mention it was right next to Traverse City – the self-proclaimed Cherry Capital so there was no lack of possibilities. I also have done it many times over the years while living in California where there is also an abundance of seasonal items and as I’ve mentioned before, I generally can hot fudge sauce every year. I decided to go with the apple butter which definitely reminded me of my childhood picking and peeling apples with my grandmother and aunt singing and having contests to see who could get the longest strip of apple without breaking it while peeling.
Making and canning the apple butter is really simple, much more than you would think. You basically cook down the apples, add some sweetener and spices, put in the jars and boil. Here’s the official recipe right from the source Eat4Fun. I did use brown sugar in place of the sweetener, as other than me, my family doesn’t go for that. In addition to the recipe, he has posted some fantastic background on canning and food preservation in general.
Since the apple butter alone wasn’t that photogenic, I decided to make a quick very thin pancake (use your favorite recipe with a little cinnamon added) rolled around some warmed apple butter with a few nuts and a dollop more of apple butter on top. It was a really great breakfast although Husband still made some unflattering remarks about all the brown colors!