When Mr. Kerr gives you apples (10+ pounds!), you make apple butter.
Our church has a wonderful ministry that helps provide food for those in need. Now headed up mostly by a gentleman named Mr. Kerr, Gleaners donates MILLIONS of pounds of food every year to local shelters, pantries, etc.
During the summer months, they have an abundance of farm fresh veggies. There is usually such a surplus that the rest of the veggies are brought by church & we get a mass email basically stating to come and help ourselves to as much produce as we would like.
It. is. wonderful.
In past years, we have brought home bushels of fresh sweet corn that I have put up for the winter. Same goes for green beans, zucchini, squash. Once, a very nice organic grocery store had ordered way too many Purple Cherokee heirloom tomatoes. No one wanted the odd looking dark tomatoes so I loaded up boxes of them. Some of them were made into tomato paste and many of them I oven dried for recipes that called for sun dried tomatoes. They were delicious.
When apples are in season, I usually make applesauce & apple butter if we take home a giant bag. Mr. Kerr had a huge sack of organic Fuji apples and organic bananas that no one wanted and he kindly asked if I would like them. Yes, please!! He gave me a box of about 25 lemons last week. On Sunday, I mashes all the bananas and froze some of the "mash". The rest went into two big batches of banana bread. I froze one batch for lunches and we have been enjoying the other one. We drove over to Mr. Kerr's home with a hot pan of bread, too.
Today, Charlie & I peeled and chopped about 20 of the apples. Well, I did the peeling & chopping, C did the dumping apple pieces into crock pot. We added a bit of water (maybe 1/2 cup) and set it on medium and left it to cook. About 7 hours later, I took off the lid and used a whisk to break up any lumps. Left the lid off and turned on high to let the liquid reduce, creating a jammier texture.
It's done & I just ladled it piping hot into freezer jars. Although it is delicious to eat, I actually make mine as a butter substitute for pumpkin gingerbread or other low fat baked goods. There are many apple butter recipes out there that call for a tremendous amount of sugar, but I think it tastes much better with zero added sugar. It is really, really sweet and rich. Sometimes I add cinnamon & cloves. Let me tell you, Yankee Candle cannot compete with the fresh apple smell in my house right now.