Monday, October 21, 2013

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

One of my favorite parts of fall is apple season, I love baking with apples! Unfortunately we don't have much in our area for apple orchards, at least that I know of. Unless I want to go for a drive, I usually head down to my farmers market on Saturday mornings and grab some there from an orchard two hours away. I'm thankful they drive that far to supply our area with their delicious apples.

You can imagine how happy I was when one of my daycare parents told me about her parent's neighbor having some apple trees I could go pick from if I wanted last week. I took the hubby with me Friday morning, it was pretty chilly but they had some of the best looking apple trees I've ever seen. And so many apples! I think I'm officially set with apples now for the rest of the season.

Saturday morning after the girls were done with their bowling league I got started on a batch of homemade apple butter. I made some a couple years ago and haven't made it since. It's so good on toasted bagels in the morning for breakfast or even just plain toast. I bet it would be good mixed in some hot oatmeal as well.

I like making mine in the slow cooker, again it frees me up to work on other things and I'm not stuck at the stove. It needs to cook pretty much all day long, at least 12 hours so plan accordingly. You could even do it overnight while you're sleeping if you prefer that route. Whichever you decide, get yourself some good, local apples while they're still available and make up a batch of apple butter. Stash the extra jars in the freezer so you can enjoy it year round or even add a jar to Christmas baskets. Your friends and family will appreciate a little homemade gift!

Apple Butter

15-20 apples  (I'm estimating a bit, I filled my 3-qt slow cooker with diced apples)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1-1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Peel, core and chop apples and add into slow cooker. Sprinkle sugar and spices over top, stir to combine. Cover and let cook on low, stirring the apples every few hours or so.  Let cook for at least 12 hours, apples will be very tender, mash with a potato masher until smooth. I even put the mixture into a blender and pureed  in there until completely smooth. Mixture will be pretty thick.

Once cooled, divide among canning jars or containers. I ended up with 4 half pint jars plus a little extra that I put into a small container in the fridge. Store in the freezer for several months or will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

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