Apple butter burning my face off!!!

tee_jayOctober 27, 2010

Ok, maybe that's a little dramatic.

Made apple butter yesterday. Followed the ball complete book recipe. The recipe states that you should boil this on medium high heat for 30 minutes to an hour.

First problem was that in order to get the desired consistency through the butter test, I had to cook it for 2 hours.

The real trouble though was that it would bubble nicely but the recipe said to stir frequently so that it doesn't scorch. Well, every time I would stir it, it went from nicely bubbling to shooting hot shards of apple all over my kitchen including a few firey pieces that landed on my arms and face! Yikes! The unfortunate thing is that it tastes awesome. So, if I make this again, can I just cook it on a lower temp for much longer to create the same end result but not end up burning myself?

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readinglady(z8 OR)

Ah yes, the lava effect of apple butter. Sputtering volcanic stuff. One way to avoid that is to put it in a roasting pan and let your oven do the work. It may take longer but it certainly saves the flesh!

I start at 350 degrees until the mixture comes to a boil then lower the temperature to 225 degrees and just leave the mixture until it's the desired consistency. Stir occasionally.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 1:32PM
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I have a slow cooker and it's hotter on high than the normal crock pot. It has become a good old tool for applebutters to render them down. Never sticks in that appliance.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 2:18PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Buy one of the splatter screens to fit your pot. That eliminates the lava problem. And the 30 min to an hour in the recipe is just a rough estimate. IME 2-3 hours is more common. It all depends on the variety of apples you use and how much liquid you add.


Here is a link that might be useful: Example of a splatter screen

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 2:32PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

tee jay,

Making apple butter does tend to make one feel like one is living in Pompeii when Vesuvius erupted! Sorry to hear you got lava-d but glad the apple butter turned out so well.

Splatter screens are all well and good but have to be taken off to stir, which of course is when you get lava-d. I ended wearing my oven mitts and using a long-handled wooden spoon last time I made apple butter, so I could stir from a safe distance!

But I like Carol's roasting pan idea and will try that next time.

Best of luck,


    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 3:53PM
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I love to put it in the crock pot overnight just to wake up to the smell of it. Pumpkin butter, too!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 4:20PM
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Thanks for the great suggestions! You should have seen me trying to stir the mixture with a kitchen towel over my face like a cloak and oven mitts all over! Glad no one else was home! :)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 5:46PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

No need to remove the splatter screen. You just tip it up a bit on one side, stick in a long handle spoon, and stir. Simple and easy.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 6:24PM
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I use a big turkey roaster but you still have to put the butter in a preserving pan to bring it up to boiling. My walls, ceiling, floor,and counter prove that apple butter is Vesuvius. Glue, even - get it while it's hot or scrape later. A long handled spoon (like for the BBQ grill) and up to the elbows oven mitt are required gear, like Zabby. I also wear my very long apron because it finds knees too, and shoes that are NOT flip flops are essential! Also, put the cat out - it attacks everything. Sometimes I feel that I should be wearing what my welder father wore to work, mask and all. The results though are awesome. I've made unsweetened with 5 different apples - 12 hours to cook down - but then the taste is so very worth it. I don't put in the spices until the last hour - otherwise it tastes a little bitter. Do you find that to be true too or am I hallucinating from the aroma?


    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 7:05PM
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Me either, Nancy. It's just a rule my Mama taught me early on when cooking. Spices are best when they're not cooked to death. They go in as late as possible.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 8:33PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

We should post photos and have an online Apple Butter Fashion Show. Prizes for Funniest Looking, Most Elegant, and Best-Protected apple butter cooks!


    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 1:22PM
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And here I thought I was the only one having this problem!!!! I will NEVER make applesauce again for this reason... And have been putting off apple butter for the same!

Carol, I will be trying your idea this weekend!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 2:17PM
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Made apple sauce in my electric sauce pot this week. Only got hit twice while stirring. Maybe I'll bring up the crock pot to make spicy caramel apple butter this weekend.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 6:01PM
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    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 12:30AM
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lisazone6_ma(z6 MA)

Wow - the last of the few blisters I had from my first apple butter experience just healed! I was going thru the same thing - I was cooking and cooking and cooking and it just took hours! Then add in trying to use the cover of the pot as a shield to stop from being burned as I stirred and I was convinced I must have done something wrong lol!! I ended up digging out a mitt I bought for the bbq because I could not stop my hands from getting spattered every time I stirred. It was all over the stove, the walls, the floor, and me!!!

One thing for sure - I'm not adding as much water as the Ball Blue Book suggested again! And I didn't think I was out of line thinking they should at least mention how long it will take to boil down in the instructions! I finished my other canning and still had a few hours to go until the apple butter was ready. Good thing I set the whole day aside for cooking! The stuff is delicious, tho!


    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 5:19PM
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You know, I'm sitting here looking at my big wooden apple butter stirrer, sitting up against my hearth in the kitchen. My g'mother used to make it outside in a big cauldron hung from a spider on chains over a wood fire. It was indeed an all-day job then with most of her ten kids tending the fire, bringing more wood or taking turns stirring. If you think about it, that hasn't been so awfully long ago in the history of food preservation and here we are complaining about a few plops from a crockpot? LOL.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 6:46PM
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Will you share your recipe for spicy caramel apple butter please?


    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 3:04PM
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sundrops(Z6 SW Indiana)

I am sure glad I decided to read some on gardenweb today. I intend to make a batch of apple butter this weekend. I may use the burner on my outside grill for this. At least I could take the hose to the deck if it gets covered in apple! However, I guess I better make sure the tank is full! I never made it before but sure sounds like a mess maker but worth the effort.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 4:15PM
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