Historically, entire communities of families and neighbors, young and old, came together in the fall to preserve part of the apple crop by making apple butter. This tradition continues at our Fest, where copper kettles are set up over log fires in Village Park adjacent to the Town Hall. Volunteers stir the apple butter with a wooden paddle. You, too, can experience the camaraderie, as neighbors did in times past. All are welcome to take a turn stirring the apple butter. Free apple cider is available during the stirring.
More than 2,800 half-pints of apple butter (standard recipe and "no sugar added) are available for sale in the Village Park. Be sure to get yours early—they go fast!
"Making apple butter," Historical Society chair and Applebutter Fest co-chair Steve Kryder says, "is a three-day job: a day to boil down 50 gallons of cider to about 10 gallons of condensed cider, a day to peel and schnitz [slice] 15 bushels of apples, and a day to cook the mixture." Two batches are made: one before the Fest, which is then pressure-canned and ready for sale, and a smaller batch during the Fest, which is put up in jars that will require refrigeration.
Two weeks prior to the Fest, volunteers gather at the Kryder Farm near McClure to stir up four kettles of applebutter at what has become known as “the Big Stir”. The kettles are placed over the fires about 6 a.m. and the cooking lasts until around 4 p.m. Stirrers are needed at 8:30 a.m. Canners are needed at 12:00 p.m. Families bring a covered dish to share for the potluck lunch. The remaining three kettles of applebutter are made and canned the day of the Fest.
Two days before each of these events, volunteers gather at the Old Fire Station to peel, core, and quarter bushels of apples. Lunch is provided by the Historical Society.
"It's fun; you get to meet and talk with new people or folks you haven't seen for a while," says Pat Kryder. "You renew that sense of community."
The recipe used was passed down from Kryder's grandparents and perfected by his mother. It uses only apples, cider, and sugar. Steve’s wife, Pat, also likes to make a small quantity with cinnamon and allspice. Both recipes are included below. Did you know that it was Pat, who first suggested an Applebutter Fest?
Many volunteers are needed to help make apple butter - two peelings, the Big Stir, and on the day of the Fest. Visit the Volunteer page for more information.
Thanks to all of our volunteers - too many to mention. A special "thank you" to Pat & Steve Kryder for their efforts over the years to continue a family tradition.