Fun with those leftover apples

With only three main ingredients in the recipe—apples, water and sugar—it is an easy project for families after a great visit to one of the many area orchards. Not only is it low in sugar, it makes a great topping for breads, rolls, ice cream and cakes.

For more recipes from Barb Rolek and ideas for introducing your family to Eastern European traditions, check out her blog at easteuropeanfood.about.com.

Makes 1 pint of Apple Butter Prep Time: 5 minutes

1 pound any variety apples, washed, quartered and cored

1/2 cup water

1/2 to 1 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, combine apples and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low and simmer until apples look like applesauce, stirring occasionally.

Pass the puree through a sieve or food mill. Mix the strained puree with the sugar and spices.

Place sweetened pulp in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20 minutes at a time, stirring frequently until thick enough so the butter doesn’t run off a spoon when turned upside down.

Parents should place hot butter in hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Cover with hot sterilized lids and rings. Remove to counter and allow to cool before storing in a cool, dry, dark place. The butter can be kept refrigerated for up to three weeks or frozen for up to one year.

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