Apple Butter Made The Old Fashioned Way

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Food historians say Americans have been making apple butter since at least the late 1700s.

It's a food item traditionally associated with the Appalachian region.

Always on the lookout for something good to eat, I talked with an Athens County man about his apple butter recipe and tradition and filed this report.

Fall is upon us.

Temperatures are dipping, leaves are changing color and many people are craving apple butter.

Two wood fires are burning in front of a church in The Plains, Ohio, when I arrive.

Members of the congregation are stirring two big copper kettles with long wooden paddles.

Jeff Fisher is scurrying about, overseeing the process.

This is a fund-raising project for the church and it's by no means a one-man show.

Fisher need lots of help and three days to make apple butter.

He says the recipe calls for just three ingredients.

"Everybody asks – what is it?" says Fisher. "All it is is apples cooked down to jam consistency."

He says, "We'll add some cinnamon oil.  We'll add sugar."

Well, there is one more "secret" ingredient, he says "Some red hot cinnamons.  That adds a little bit of a kick to it."

The apples come from a local orchard.

"He picks out a variety of apples for us," says Fisher.

Is apple butter making a lost art?

Not sure, says Fisher but the stuff is hard to find.

"Everybody says 'we want some,'" he says.  "You can't find it everywhere."