Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 30, 2002 · Page 21
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 21

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Indiana, Pennsylvania
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Wednesday, October 30, 2002
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Page 21
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Wednesday, October 30,2002 FOOD Page 17 Volunteers peeled, cored and cut about 25 bushels of apples at the Grove Chapel Lutheran Church for the annual making of apple butter. (Gazette photo by Tom Peel) Groups make apple butter to raise funds for various projects By VIRGINIA FILLER Gazette Staff Writer Every year, as the leaves start to fall off the trees and the weather turns cooler, another phenomenon is also taking place. It's the annual apple-butter-making season. Friends, families, groups and organizations gather to peel, core, cook, taste and can fragrant, sweet-tasting spread. All the recipes call for apples, sugar and spices, but the ratios vary by taste and tradition. Some groups make their apple butter very sweet and others go for a little less sugar and a little more spice, according to some local experts. Laurie Neal of Creekside said the ladies from the church have put together a recipe, but the recipe changes each year. "How much sugar or spices we use varies," said Neal, who was helping make apple butter at the Plumcreek Presbyterian Church this year. "It depends on the sweetness of the apples, and that varies, too, from year to year." The church group sells its apple butter at its annual bazaar, which will be held Saturday. No recipe was forthcoming from the members of the Mahoning Grange either, but it's unlikely that many families or individuals could really use a recipe that calls for 56 bushels of apples, 390 pounds of sugar and unknown quantities of cinnamon and other spices. Grange members have been making apple butter every year for about 30 years, said member Martha Smith. "We made 240 gallons last year," said Smith. "We don't always make that much, but we usually make over 100 gallons every year." That means that over the past 30 years, grange members have probably made somewhere around 5,000 gallons of apple butter. And what do they do with it all? They sell it. "We've never had any problem selling it," Smith said. "It's'our main moneymaking project of the year." They get many orders ahead of time, according to Smith, with people bringing their own jars and lids. The apple butter is sold for $5 per quart and $3 per pint. The grange's process of making the apple butter may be a bit different from most, since the members do not peel the apples before cooking. The apples are cored and quartered and then cooked on a stove. They are then put through a Squeezo machine to remove the skins in order to make applesauce. Once the applesauce is made, it is transferred to large kettles and cooked over a wood fire until il thickens and all the water is gone. The Cooking apple butter in a copper kettle at the Plumcreek Presbyterian Church were, from left, Ken Park, Joan Park, Luke Bothell and Brian Neal. Along with a variety of other goods and crafts, the apple butter will be for sale at the church's bazaar Saturday. (Gazette photo by Jamie Isenberg) Members of the Mahoning Grange have been making apple butter for about 30 years. Canning the finished product recently were Betty Irwin, Loretta Lockwood and Clyde Behm. (Gazette photo by Jamie Isenberg} sugar and spices are added, and the mixture is cooked for about eight hours before canning. Apple-butter makers at the Grove Chapel Lutheran Church also use the two-step process of first making applesauce and then cooking the water completely out of it. The applesauce is then cooked in 30- to 50-gallon copper kettles over a wood fire. "It's very important to keep the fire going the whole time and not let the wood touch the kettle," said Ernie Ward, who took over the planning and coordination of the apple-butter making at the church this year. "If the wood touches the kettle, it could ruin the kettle and burn the butter." The church's process is a little different from others, in that they use a cider base, and they use a combination of apple varieties, such as Macintosh, Cortland and Northern Spy. They get the cider boiling in the kettle and dump in the applesauce to about 6 inches from the top. "You have to stir constantly," Ward said. "What you're looking for as you go along is to boil all the water out of the apples until it starts lo turn into a molasses-type texture. Once you see a nice, shiny glaze, you're almost there." Timing is crucial to success, Ward said. They start and stop in the same rotation — the first kettle that is filled should always be the first that is emptied. If things are timed right, just as the first kettle is done being canned, the second one is ready to come off the fire, until all the kettles are emptied and all the jars have been filled and sealed. The process of making apple butter can be tedious, time consuming and no easy task, but most of the people who help out with the annual events keep coming back, year after year. Maybe it's the chance to be one of the taste-testers or maybe they want to help their group or organization raise funds, but most of them seem lo be there just because they enjoy the tradition, camaraderie, fellowship and,sense of accomplishment when, after two or three days of work, they see 400 to 500 quarts of apple butter silting on the tables awaiting sale. Apple butter recipes vary in taste, ingredients, cooking time SLOW COOKER APPLE BUTTER Makes 4 pinls. 7 cups applesauce (preferably homemade, bul a good-quality commercial kind, unsweetened, can be substituted) 2 cups apple cider 1% cupshoney 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Vz teaspoon ground cloves 1 A teaspoon allspice In a crock, mix all ingredients. Cover and cook on low. for 14-15 hours or until mixture is a deep brown. Pack while hot into 4 hot pint jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, counting the time after the jars have been immersed and the water comes again lo a rolling boil. This is a simple version but it tastes just like the old-fashioned kind, baked down in a copper kettle over an open fire. Sweetened with honey, it has a smooth, smooth texture. — Source: Cooking from Quilt Country by Marda Ada APPLE BUTTER 4 quarts unsweetened applesauce 7 cups granulated sugar 1'/) cups brown sugar 5V 3 tablespoons cider vinegar 5V 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons cinnamon 2 teaspoons allspice 1 teaspoon ground cloves Combine all ingredients in a crockpot or roasting pan. Cover and cook 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and continue cooking until excess liquid cooks away (turn to low as necessary) crockpot 5 to 8 hours, oven 3 to 5 hours. Seal mixture in hot jars and process in a hot waier bath for 10 minutes. This recipe yields approximately 8 to 10 pints.' — www.just crockfwlrecipes. com/index, h tm SPICED APPLE-PEAR BUTTER 2 1 A pounds Rome Beauty or other baking apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped 2 pounds pears, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped 1 cup apple cider or apple juice Vi cup fresh lemon juice Vfe cup sugar V-i cup firmly packed golden brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon '/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 3-inch by Vfe-inch strip orange peel (orange part only) Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Combine first four ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover. Simmer until fruit is very tender, about 15 minutes. Puree fruit mixture in processor. Mix in '/z cup sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer mixture to 8-inch square glass baking dish; add orange peel. Bake uncovered until mixture is dark and thick, stirring often, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Discard peel. (Can be made one week ahead. Cover and chill.) Goes well with muffins. —Source: Bon Appetit Magazine, October 1934 PUMPKIN APPLE BUTTER Makes 3 cups. 1 3 /4 cup pumpkin (15-ouncecan) I cup peeled grated apple 1 cup apple juice V4 cup packed brown sugar % teaspoon pumpkin pie spice Combine all ingredients in deep heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 '/z hours. Store in an airtight container, in refrigerator for up to 2 months. Serve on biscuits, breads, corn muffins, or hot cereal. And now that you have all that apple butter APPLE BUTTER BREAD 2 cups all-purpose flour I cup brown sugar 'A cup (Vfe stick) margarine, melted 1 Vt teaspoons baking powder Vt teaspoon baking soda 'A teaspoon salt 1 egg, beaten % pint (l'/2 cups) apple butter, divided 1 A cup apple juice 1 cup raisins Vis cup chopped walnuts Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in % cup apple butter, apple juice, margarine and egg. Fold in raisins and walnuts. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Spread remaining 3 /! cup apple butter over batter. Gently pour remaining batter over apple buller. Bake at 350 degrees for 65 to 75 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched in center. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 1 loaf. — ivww.virginiaapples.org APPLE BUTTER COOKIES Yield: 30 servings '/i cup margarine; softened I cup brown sugar; packed I egg '/> cup oatmeal '/a cup apple butter 1 cup all-purpose flour Vfe teaspoon baking soda Vi teaspoon baking powder '/> teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons milk *& cup chopped nuts V4 cup raisins In a mixing bowl, cream margarine (or butter) and sugar. Beat in egg, oats, and apple butter. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture along with milk. Beat until blended. Stir in nuts and raisins. Chill. Drop by teaspoonful onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. More apple butter recipes on page 18

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