• Brittany Sparks

Cranberry Apple Butter


Fall is officially here and that means it is apple and cranberry season. Two of my favorite fall fruits! So I decided to pair the two together to make this tasty cranberry apple butter. I have always been a huge fan of apple butter. You can put it on toast or as a spread on a sandwich. It is a great way of preserving some of the best fall fruits. This recipe can be made either using an Instant pot or on the stove top. The instant pot will just speed things along. This cranberry apple butter makes for a great gift for the Holiday’s coming up.

To make this recipe you will need about 5 pounds of apples or about 10 cups chopped and one 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries. This recipe will make about 8 pint jars of cranberry apple butter. Starting in October you will start to find fresh cranberries in your local grocery store. Some stores will carry fresh cranberries year round in the frozen foods section.

You can use either fresh cranberries in this recipe or fresh cranberries that have been frozen. If using frozen cranberries there is no reason to thaw for this recipe. I had a few bags in my freezer and that is what went into my cranberry apple butter!

I have included two separate ways to make this recipe. Either with the Instant Pot or on the stove top. Either way works great, the Instant Pot version is just a bit faster. The apple cranberry mixture is first cooked until softened and then you can either use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor to puree until smooth.

The mixture is then cooked down more until reduced and then you can either store in the refrigerator or properly can the mixture to be shelf stable. Here are a few tips below for how to can safely in your home.

Home canning has been used for generations and is a great way to preserve the bounty of harvest for many fruits and vegetables to be enjoyed year round. When home canning certain safety precautions need to be made to reduce the risk for deadly bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum spores can be found on most fresh foods and are harmless as they grow and multiply only in the absence of air, placing risk with canned goods. Choosing the right recipes that take into account moisture, acid level and preparation method can greatly reduce the risk for food poisoning.

Home Canning Safety Tips:

  • Temperature

  • Store canned goods below 95°.

  • Properly Sealed

  • Ensure jars and lids are sealed properly. The lid should not pop when pressed on.

  • Acid Level

  • Recipe should take into account the acidity of the food. Low acidic foods need to be prepared in a pressure canner versus a boiling water canner to help control botulinum spores. Or they can be pared with enough acid ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice to reduce the pH level to below 4.6. Low acid containing foods include most vegetables, except for most tomatoes.

  • Altitude Adjustments

  • Boiling times will need to be increased for those living in higher altitudes. A general rule is to add 5 minutes for 1,000 to 3,000 ft, 10 minutes for 3,000 to 6,000 ft and 15 minutes for above 6,000 ft in altitude.

  • Spacing

  • Pay attention to headspace or the space between the canned product and lid to allow for adequate sealing of the jar and for expansion of the food once processed. General rule is ¼ inch for jams and jellies, ½ inch for fruits and tomatoes, and 1 ¼ inch for low acid foods being processed in a pressure canner.

  • Proper Equipment

  • Only use the lids once for canned goods and throw away bent or dented lids.

  • Allow to Self-Seal

  • Do not retighten the lids after processing. Leave them be for several hours to allow the lids to self-seal.

For more information on home canning and safety refer to the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, which can be found at: https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html

Timing is key with Home Canning

It is important to use the freshest ingredients when home canning as nutrient value will diminish the longer the produce is sitting around. Plan on canning your bounty of fruits and veggies right after they are picked or within 6-12 hours from being harvested. The heating method used with canning can also reduce nutrient levels such as Vitamin A, C and some of the B vitamins and the longer the canned goods are on the shelf more nutrient loss can occur. However, if canned at its nutrient peak canned goods can contain more nutrients than fresh produce that has been sitting on the shelves for weeks, which is why timing is key!

Once you get the hang of home canning you will be hooked like me. It is a great way to preserve the best of the season!

Cranberry Apple Butter

Author: Brittany Sparks

Makes: 8 (1 Pint) Jars

Instant Pot

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Total Time: 45 min

Stove Top

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 50 min

Total Time: 65 min

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs Apples (~10 Cups, Chopped)

  • 1 (12oz) Bag Fresh Cranberries

  • ½ Cup Water

  • ½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon

  • ¼ Tsp Allspice

  • ¼ Tsp Ground Ginger

  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice

  • 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

  • ½ Cup Granulated Sugar

Instant Pot Directions

  1. You can either refrigerate this product or if you are planning on keeping shelf stable follow standard canning directions, (see below).

  2. Wash and chop the apples and discard the cores and seeds. Add the chopped apples, cranberries, sugars, spices, lemon juice and water to the Instant pot. Stir to combine. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Once complete turn the knob to release the pressure.

  3. Using an immersion blender or food processor puree the mixture until smooth.

  4. Turn the Instant Pot setting to the low sauté function. Stir the pureed mixture frequently for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken.

  5. Place the cranberry apple butter in jars and store in the refrigerator or if planning on keeping shelf stable follow the directions below for proper canning instructions.

Stove Top Directions

  1. In a large saucepan place in the apples, cranberries and water. Cook over low heat stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until the apples and cranberries soften.

  2. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the mixture until smooth.

  3. Return to the saucepan and add the sugars, spices, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.

  4. Cook again for about 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

  5. Place the cranberry apple butter in jars and store in the refrigerator or if planning on keeping shelf stable follow the directions below for proper canning instructions.

Instructions for Canning

  1. Prepare your jars and lids by preparing a water bath. Bring to a boil and add the jars and lids. I use two separate pots, one for the jars and one for the lids and rings. Let the water come to a boil and place the jars in the boiling water bath for 15 minutes. The water should completely submerge the jars. The lids and rings can be placed in scalding hot water. Let rest in hot water until ready to use.

  2. Place the cranberry apple butter in prepared pint jars, leaving 1/4th inch headspace. Wipe clean any spills on the jars with a clean, damp cloth before placing the lids on.

  3. Process the canned apple butter in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes (see above for adjustments for altitude). Remove from heat and leave alone for several hours to self-seal.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size (2 Tbsp Cranberry Apple Butter):

Calories 16, Total Fat 0 g, Sodium 0 mg, Total Carbohydrate 4.2 g, Dietary Fiber 0.5 g,

Protein 0g, Potassium 16 mg, Phosphorous 1.5 mg.


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