Make apple butter. It’s not hard, but it does take 3 to 4 hours. I made a batch yesterday with the following recipe that I’ve perfected over the years. This works for apple butter and also for apple-pear butter. I’ve never tried it with just pears, but I think it would still work.
Here’s what you need:
Notice I didn’t give measurements for the spices, you’ll have to adjust the amounts based on how much apple/pear pulp you end up with.
- Cut the apples/pears into quarters. You don’t need to peel or remove the core. You should remove the stems. Place the cut fruit in the pot.
- Add the apple cider vinegar and the water. Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the fruit is soft and easily separates from its skin. Remove from heat.
- Place the sieve over a large bowl. Ladle the fruit mixture into the sieve a little bit at a time. Use the wooden spoon to force the fruit mixture through the sieve, leaving behind the skin, seeds and any tough pieces of the core. Discard the skin, etc. (add to your compost bin!) as you go along. You should end up with a bowl full of fruit pulp and liquid.
- Measure the fruit pulp back into the pot. You need to know how many cups of pulp you have in order to add the rest of the ingredients.
- Sugar: Figure 1/2 cup sugar for every cup of pulp. Then, figure the amount of white sugar to brown sugar in a 3:1 ratio. For example, if you have 8 cups of pulp you will need 4 cups of sugar. Three of those will be white sugar, and one will be brown sugar. Confused? Just used all white sugar!
- Salt: 1/4 teaspoon up to 8 cups of pulp. Never add more than 1/2 teaspoon.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: 1 teaspoon for every 4 cups of pulp.
- Add the sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice to the pulp and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a bubbling simmer. On my stove, this requires medium heat.
- Stir the mixture frequently to prevent burning. Continually scrape the sides and bottom with the wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Cooking will take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the liquid to pulp ratio of your mixture. The butter is formed as the excess liquid evaporates.
- After an hour, test the butter to see if it is the thickness you desire. The easiest way to do this is to spoon some out and let it cool for a few minutes. If it’s still runny, it’s not ready. If it stays thick and spreadable, it’s ready.
Once your apple/pear butter is ready, you can ladle it into hot, sterile jars and refrigerate. If you want to keep it for more than a couple of weeks, you’ll need to properly preserve it in a water-bath canner (process for 10 minutes).
Questions? Just ask!
I made this for lunch today and wanted to share. This is not only a one-pot dish, but is also a spicy and colorful dish. It’s much tastier than box macaroni and cheese and simple to make.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
Fill your saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the Wacky Mac and cook for 9 minutes. Drain the Wacky Mac in a colander and add the Ro*Tel to the pasta in the colander. You want the extra liquid to drain off the Ro*Tel, so gently stir it into the pasta in the colander. Leave the pasta and Ro*Tel in the colander while you make the sauce.
Return the saucepan to the burner on medium heat and add the butter. Stir until melted. Add the flour. Stir until incorporated into the butter. Add the milk. Stir until smooth. Add the shredded cheese and the American cheese slices. Stir until melted and the sauce is thickening. Add the egg. Stir until well incorporated. Remove from heat.
Stir the pasta/Ro*Tel mix into the sauce. Return to heat. Cook and stir occasionally until the Mac ‘n Cheese is nice and bubbly.
This easily makes 3 or 4 side dish servings or 2 main dish servings. The only challenge is deciding not to eat it all by yourself in one sitting!
I read about some medical research indicating that coffee drinkers might live longer. I also saw a short piece in the July/August issue of More Magazine about a study that showed women who consume more than two servings a day of low-fat dairy foods had a lower risk of developing high blood pressure — the article recommended having a low-fat yogurt or a latte several times a day.
I was thrilled to learn my coffee-milk and latte habit is actually good for me; although, I never thought is was bad for me. I have coffee and yogurt every day. And I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of the yogurt maker I ordered for my birthday. Making yogurt is pretty simple, but I really liked the idea of a temperature controlled environment complete with reusable individual-sized containers.
So, all you ladies out there, drink your coffee, eat your yogurt and live a long, healthy life!