The preserve of the month for February is apple butter. It’s delicious with cheeses, oatmeal, toast or a spoon, and about as easy to make as apple sauce. Local apples are still available this time of year so you can make a batch if you’d like. No time? Pop by the Roulant General Store this month and purchase some at a special price.
You can also join our ‘preserve of the month’ club for an even greater discount! Sign up in advance for the whole year to receive a jar of delicious Montreal-grown and made preserves each month for $90, with a value of $105. Purchase your membership in the online general store.
February Preserve: Apple Butter
Makes about 5 x 250 ml jars of apple butter.
Apple butter is a very manageable food preservation project. Grab some tart apples, local varieties like Cortland or McIntosh are great, even when they are no longer at the peak of freshness; they actually cook down a bit faster. Then, peel, core, spice, simmer, reduce, fill jars and pasteurize! The only thing to be careful about is scorching. As the butter reduces, keep it on low heat and watch it so it doesn’t stick or burn. This process can take a while so get cozy with a friend or favourite movie.
New to canning? Learn more about our food preservation program.
6 lbs apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2-2 cups sugar (optional)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
Juice of one lemon or 3 tbs bottled lemon juice
5 or 6 clean 250 ml jars and two-part lids
- In your biggest, heaviest pot combine the apples and just enough water to cover them. Bring to a simmer and cook the apples until tender. A bit of foam will form on the surface that should be skimmed off, it’s okay if you can’t get it all.
- When the apples are tender, remove the pot from the heat and puree the mixture until it is smooth (an immersion blender is the best tool for this). Stir in sugar, spices and lemon juice.
- Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it darkens in color and begins to pop and bubble, about 1-1 1/2 hours. Make sure to watch the pot carefully and stir often in the last 1/2 hour to prevent scorching.
- Ladle the hot apple butter into clean jars and wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre sealing discs on clean jar rim and crew band down until resistance is met, then increase ever so slightly without overtightening. Work relatively quickly to avoid excessive cooling. Once all jars place them inside a pot on a wire rack or on top of some butter knives ensuring that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover pot and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. Process jars for 10 minutes.
- When processing time is complete, remove pot lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a cookie sheet or plate that is insulated with a tea towel. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
- After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve inward and do not move when pressed. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year. Enjoy.
Adapted from: Apt 2b Baking Co
Why share our recipes?
We want you to get excited about eating locally and help you gain the skills to do so! We sell preserves to support our programs, but food security and community remain our our overarching goals; we’re all about sharing and strengthening the local food sector.