In response to requests for this recipe, here it is! This has become my favorite way to make apple butter.
First, plant an apple tree. Wait five years. (Just kidding.)
Start by making applesauce. I recommend my new best friend, a food strainer. If you don’t know how to make applesauce….. Depends on whether you are using a peeler, a food strainer, a food mill, or doing it by hand, but get the apples peeled, cored, and processed into sauce one way or another!
I’ve written this recipe per quart so that you can multiply it by however many quarts of sauce you have available.
How to make Whiskey-Raisin Apple Butter:
Per quart applesauce–
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar*
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup whiskey
*Adjust amount of sugar to suit your tastes. Start with the lower amount and see how you like it. I use 1 3/4 cups.
I simmer my apple butter in crock pots. Whatever you’re using, combine the applesauce, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and cloves in the pot (NOT the whiskey yet) and mix well.
I use half and half golden raisins and “regular” raisins. I just think it looks pretty.
Simmer for several hours, stirring occasionally. When the butter is thick–rounds up on a spoon–stir in the whiskey.
Get your sauce as thick as you can before adding the whiskey. The less you cook after adding the whiskey, the better–you don’t want to cook it out. I try to not cook it more than another 15-20 minutes after adding the whiskey.
Process pints or half-pints in a boiling water bath 10 minutes.
I made a total of 37 pints! On to pear recipes now. (You can substitute pears and make Whiskey-Raisin Pear Butter, too, by the way.)
I grew up on apple butter and molasses, when most kids in my suburban neighborhood didn’t even know what they were. My dad always loaded up on apple butter and molasses to take home when we visited West Virginia. Those are two things that feel very “homey” to me and will always be in my home. Along with a cat. I’ll be selling most of this apple butter, but believe me, I’ll be keeping a few jars for me!