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Friday, September 30, 2016

Food Friday: Homemade Apple Butter in Crock Pot

We came into some apples that had seen better days. I did not want to throw them out since there were parts of each apple that were still good. I also did not want to make apple pies on this occasion...no place to store the pies (especially not in my tummy!) and not life enough to drive them to donate....so I thought of apple butter.

This is what I did:

Washed and cored apples.

Chopped apples into large pieces.

Filled 5-quart crock pot bowl/ceramic insert with apple chunks.
Filled crock pot...about 15 apples

In a medium bowl put:
   1.5 cups apple cider
   1.5 cups brown sugar
   1.5 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
   1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
   1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Spices in a bowl

Stirred these ingredients together then poured over apple pieces in crock pot.  With long-handled wooden spoon, stirred the apples and spice slurry together until all apples were coated.

Put the cover on the crock pot and turned on crock pot to heat for 4 hours on HIGH setting.  Stirred at least every hour.  After 4 hours, turned crock pot to LOW setting and heated for 10 more hours (overnight).

In the morning let apples cool for an hour then in batches put apple butter into blender and blended for 1-2 minutes until all the apple peels were totally pulverized.  (I wanted the peels to be in with the apples-not what most recipes call for-so there would be a little more fiber in the finished apple butter.)
Cooked-down apples and spices

Returned the completely pulverized apples to the crock pot bowl and continued heating on HIGH for 1-2 hours, stirring AT LEAST every 30 minutes, until the apple butter was the texture/thickness I like.  Well, actually it was a little less thick than normal apple butter, but my view is that often apple butter is brown sludge, which I don't find appealing, texture-wise.  For this last stage of cooking, I put the cover on ajar so more of the steam would escape to bring the apple butter to a pleasing thickness, but which would keep any splatters from getting out onto the wall or counter. (Cleaning spatters off walls is not always completely successful. I hate to have to scrub AND repaint the kitchen walls...)

After the finished apple butter cooled, I pulled out some pretty good homemade whole wheat bread, put on some apple butter, gave one slice to Dear One, and ate one slice myself. It was pretty tasty.  Even Dear One said so.

Finally, I put the apple butter into jars.  This amount made four jars.
1 pint and a half jar, 1 pint jar, 2 half-pint jars
Pretty fun and easy project with good results.

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