Warm Pie Happy Home

Aunt Ruthie’s Old Fashioned Candy Apple Butter

Written by Aunt Ruthie on September 15th, 2017

apples candy apple butter

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Image by artist  John Sloane

Ahhh…Fall…it’s that glorious time of year when the sweet smell of burning leaves and wood smoke are swirling heavenward  in the apple-crisp air (Oh my! I love it so much I want to marry it!) Folks are raking up their yards and stacking chopped wood in piles in preparation for when Ol’ Jack Frost stops by for a long winter visit. This is just one of the endearing delights of small-town America!

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Local farm stands offer produce at it’s freshest! Sweet, crisp apples were on my shopping list to take home to simmer up a batch of  old fashioned Apple Butter.

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I always like to start any project by creating a happy home atmosphere. When I’m going to be cooking I begin by putting on a cute apron with a flour sack towel tucked in at the waist so that I’m able to wipe my hands quickly when needed. I also make sure my kitchen is clean and clutter free.  Lighting  a candle makes the room feel cozy and putting on some happy-home music encourages a merry heart. (The music I play ranges from Bluegrass to Classical to Doris Day to The Gaither’s Southern Gospel to Bing Crosby Christmas to whatever tickles my fancy!(…oh yes I said Christmas! It’s my favorite kind of music so why only listen to it in December?) I’ve found that “setting the stage” by intentionally nurturing  a happy atmosphere almost always results in an enjoyable and even festive experience.   Having things in order, the counters cleared off and plenty of time set aside for the task,  makes for a more cheerful mama. And a cheerful mama is the best kind to be… all children everywhere I’m sure would wholeheartedly agree!  (Hey! That rhymes! LOL!) You know what Sugar Pies? Every day we are making memories with our family…happy or sad…whether we want to or not. Let’s do our best to make home sweet for our dear loved ones!  I love what Barbara Johnson said “For all of us, today’s experiences are tomorrow’s memories.” Let’s sprinkle those  everyday memories with lots of joy!

Now, with my  apples freshly scrubbed I’m ready to put up some downhome apple butter.

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My white enamel-topped farm table made the perfect apple peeling station. I found that three bowls were needed to keep things in order and tidy. One bowl held the washed apples, the second bowl held the peels and cores, and the third bowl was filled with the sliced apples.

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This handy old-timey apple peeler made the job a breeze! It peels, cores and slices all at the same time with just a few turns of the handle!  It’s also perfect for when you are  making apple pies, crisps and cobblers. You can use it to peel potatoes too! This particular model has a  suction mount that adheres to smooth surfaces. (It held very strong onto my enamel table. I believe it would also work well on any slick surface such as granite, tile and formica.) peeling-apples

Of course you can also sit and relax with a bowl on your lap and peel the apples like farm women have done for years.

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The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you cook it in a slow cooker! I can’t believe how easy it is. You can make simple apple sauce this way too. By the way, if you are not familiar with apple butter,( it was new to me until I moved to the Ozarks), it does not have any dairy butter in it. It’s basically a highly concentrated form of apple sauce that is cooked for a longer period of time, causing the sugar to caramelize and turn the apple butter a nice golden brown.  It’s a delicious fruit preserve that you can spread on bread, biscuits, pancakes, even drizzle on ice cream. In many parts of the country apple butter making is a family event and is usually cooked in large copper kettles over an open fire. You can cook it on the stove top, but would have to stir often so it wouldn’t scorch, or in the oven. I like the simplicity of the slow cooker. Oh my, the aroma of apples and cinnamon goodness will fill your home for hours!

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apples candy apple butter

 

Aunt Ruthie’s Old Fashioned Candy Apple Butter

1 gallon of peeled,  cored and sliced apples

1 cup fresh apple cider

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon Red Hots cinnamon candies (if you don’t have these then put another 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in its place…it will still taste delicious!)

Give it a good stir, put the lid on:

For fast cooking turn on High for 6 hours.

For slower cooking turn on low for 10-12 hours.

Stir occasionally during the cooking process. Once the apples have cooked down and have become soft use a hand held Immersion Blender to puree the apples into a smooth sauce right in the slow cooker pot…and you’ve got Aunt Ruthie’s Candy Apple Butter! Then make some biscuits or toast  to spread it on and enjoy!

You can make applesauce this way too. Just reduce the amount of sugar to 1 or two tablespoons (or leave it out completely) add the cinnamon, apple cider and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. You really can’t mess it up, it’s so easy and delicious!

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I love the idea of using the cinnamon candies in the apple butter. Along with the yummy taste it also gives the apple butter a rosy hue which is so pretty.

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An Immersion Blender made all the difference in the texture of the apple butter. I use mine often to make my soups and sauces creamy and smooth.

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The apple butter recipe makes 5 pints. I sterilized the jars in boiling water, filled and sealed them with lids and gave the jars a 10 minute boiling water bath so I could give as gifts or store in my pantry.

Rosy red apples are good to eat

and Mama’s apple butter is always a treat!

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A rule of thumb that I read about is if a

spoon can stand up on its own in the apple butter, then it’s ready.

 

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This fall start the tradition of singing the Johnny Appleseed song at the dinner table and you’ll harvest happy memories and lots of laughter!

In our family my kids grew up singing the Johnny Appleseed song ’round the supper table just after we said grace. We ended the song singing “Amen, Amen AMEN!” My kids thought we were saying their grandpa’s name “Armand”, so at the end of the song they sang “Armand, Armand ARMAND!”  They still sing it the same today, it’s a family tradition! It never fails to make us burst with laughter!
The Johnny Appleseed Song
“Oh the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the apple seed, Oh the Lord is good to me, Amen, Amen, Amen! (or Armand!)”
Check out these youtube videos to learn the song:
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“In the 1700’s, John Chapman, a man who became known as Johnny Appleseed, was famous for carrying a sack on his back filled with apple seeds then planting the seeds and growing acres of apple trees in the Western portions of New York and Pennsylvania. The Johnny Appleseed song is a delightful way to say Grace before meals with family and friends. The words to the Johnny Appleeed song promote how much we have to be grateful for in our lives.” ~ehow
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The Johnny Appleseed story is a great one to read to your kids and grandkids! Amazon has several versions, I have this one with the charming illustrations of Will Moses.

Enjoy!

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Warm Pie Happy Home

Royer’s JuNkBeRRY Pie!!! From Round Top Texas Pie Queen Tara Royer Steele!

Written by Aunt Ruthie on August 7th, 2017

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This darlin’ gal I’m standing next to is the Pie Queen of Round Top Texas! Her name is Tara Royer Steele, of the famous and iconic Royer’s Round Top Cafe and Royer’s Pie Haven in Round Top, Texas. Recently, she came to my house to visit and make a pie…in my kitchen!! Ummm….WOW! I was so honored!

Be sure to follow Tara on instagram here @graceupongracegirl

tara and her pie

Yes! She is as adorable as she looks! I love that gal and her heart! You can read more about our super fun day making pie and eating lasagna on this blog post here! But the wonderful news is Tara has graciously and generously given me permission to share the recipe for Royer’s Junkberry Pie!  And it’s amazing!! She is just the sweetest! So here you go sisters! A wonderful recipe for a very famous pie!

IMG_9405Royer’s JuNkBeRRy Pie

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 peeled, cored & sliced granny smith apples
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 3 cups sliced & peeled peaches
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups blackberries 

(*you can use frozen fruit)

Combine all ingredients in saucepan, cook fruit & mixture until boiling. Pour into 10″ unbaked pie shell. Spread topping on top of fruit filling. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Topping will be firm & golden brown around the edges.

JuNkBeRRy Topping

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients & whisk until smooth (or mix with electric mixer). Pour on top of fruit filling and bake pie.

 

Enjoy!!

Thank you to Tara!!!

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