Apple butter is a unique, old-fashioned way of preserving some of the apple harvest for winter consumption.
It is made by very slow cooking apples, and frequent stirring thereof. My mother, Elaine Linton, remembers her grandmother, Mary P. Webster, making apple butter in the large kettle which hung from a metal stand, over a carefully tended wood fire outside. It took about 2 days and nights for the apples to cook down in an apple cider slurry, turn a rich brown color, and then be ready for canning. No sugar was added, for sugar was quite expensive and everyone liked the flavor of the butter just as it was. People like my mother, who grew up canning with her mother and grandmother, find canning easy. I suppose after 80+ years of practice, it should be easy!
Our apple butter is all apples, apple cider, no sugar, seasoned with a little cinnamon, just the way my great-grandmother used to make it. It is naturally sweet and delicious! I like it on bagels, on oatmeal, as a base for a salad dressing, a topping for sweet potatoes, an ingredient for stir fry, or a condiment for scrambled eggs. Or anything else I can produce. I love our apple butter!
If you have not tried apple butter before, now is the time. I can pretend I eat it for the fiber and nutritional value, but really—I eat apple butter because it is delectable.
For a brief story about Mary P. Webster, see https://highlandcsafieldnews.