Friday, October 18, 2013

Crock Pot Apple Butter

Hello, my name is Deidre and I am an apple lover. 

I love anything made with apples or simply enjoying the fruit as is.  I prefer any type of apple over a Red Delicious as those are not my favorite.  I feel like they get mealy and have a gritty texture that makes me want to gag.  I grew up eating apples from the local orchard.  My papaw would offer me an apple each time I was at his house.  Most of the time it was a Golden Delicious or another variety of yellow apples.  Those are the best! 

Growing up, my mom would make apple butter in the fall.  She would also boil the apple peels to make juice for apple jelly.  Anyway, fall always brought the best smells into the house.  I find that being an adult now, I long for my house to smell that way too.  Being that apple butter is probably one of my absolute favorite biscuit accompaniments, I was itching to try my hand at making it this year. 

Some of my favorite ways to eat apple butter are:
1)      On a biscuit or toast;
2)      On cornbread (oh yes….); and best yet
3)      A Grilled Apple Butter Sandwich (just like a grilled cheese but with apple butter obviously). 

My mother-in-law made crock pot apple butter last year and it turned out nicely.  I decided since this is the first time I’ve ever made apple butter and tried canning that I should probably go with the easiest route possible.  I cannot begin to explain the anxiety I had knowing that in order to preserve my prized apple butter I had to CAN it.  Eek.  It was stressful to think about.  But I’m happy to report that the hot water bath canning went without a hitch!  I was stressed for no reason. 
*Red Rome Apples*
Over the weekend, the Mr. and I went to the local fruit stand, Barber Orchard Fruitstand, to pick up some apples.  I decided on the special a half bushel of Red Rome apples.  Let’s just say, I have a LOT of apples to do something with over the next few days.  Maybe I was a little zealous.  Oops.
Here is the recipe my MIL shared with me. 
Crock Pot Apple Butter

Approximately 3 lb. apples (Note: I used Red Rome)
3 cups sugar (Note: I used 2 c sugar 1 c honey)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. cloves
Dash of salt
1 cup fresh apple cider
Fill Crock pot ¾ full with peeled, cored and sliced apples.  In a separate bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir well until evenly mixed.  Pour over apples in the crock pot and stir until well coated.    Cover and cook on low setting overnight or until the butter is of a thick, spreadable consistency.
If apple butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until thickened.  Stir often as butter thickens to prevent scorching.
(Note: my apples didn’t break down as smooth as I wanted them, so I put them in the blender and gave it a couple pulses.  This left the apple butter smooth and consistent.)
Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.  Freeze for longer storage.
To can the apple butter, pack into hot jars leaving ¼ inch head space and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

*Here goes nothing.*
*I did it!*


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