Slow cooked apple butter

                                                                             I actually thought I’d posted this recipe already, but I must have posted it on a private loop somewhere.

As promised on Twitter: the recipe I’ve been following for slow-cooked apple butter. It’s a joy to make because it fills the house with its heady fragrance for hours and hours and hours.  Easy, too, aside from the time-consuming angle of peeling and cutting up the apples.  I found the recipe on the Internet somewhere, but can’t find the original anymore, and the printout is gone.  I’ve tweaked it a bit anyway, as you must feel free to do, of course. 

makes approximately 6 cups

About 5-6 pounds apples (I like organic Delicious for the sweetness, but have also used Granny Smith)
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Crushed tops of 7-8 cloves
1/3 vanilla bean, scraped
Dash kosher salt
Juice of half lemon
6 oz (half a bottle) hard apple cider if you have it, or apple juice if not.

Peel, core and slice apples and put them in the crock pot.  Stir in other ingredients, pouring the cider over the top.  Let cook on low setting for 24 hours, stirring now and then to make sure the spices permeate the whole stew. 

For a smooth texture, purree the mixture in a blender; for chunky, simply use a ricer or potato masher.  You can freeze it or process in a water bath as per usual instructions.

It’s one of my favorite things this winter.  What is one of yours? What have you been cooking a lot of?

flickr creative commons photo by beta karel

3 thoughts on “Slow cooked apple butter

  1. Barb

    That apple butter looks wonderful! I’ll have to try it.

    We love our crockpot and use it a lot – especially during the winter. My favorite crockpot recipes are the ones that don’t require you to cook ingredients before you put them into the pot.

    This is one of our favorite recipes. I think we got this recipe from New Mexico Magazine several years ago and made some of our own changes. This dish has so much flavor.

    Southwestern Crockpot Stew

    1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless pork or chicken
    1 can creamed corn
    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 jar salsa
    Shredded Cheese (optional)

    Put all ingredients into crockpot. Cook on high for 7 – 9 hours. You do not have to cut the meat before putting it into the crockpot; it’s in the pot so long that it just falls apart.

    Stir the stew in the pot and then serve over plain white rice and sprinkle cheese on top.

    Sometimes we mix the stew with the rice and put the mixture into soft tortillas.

    It’s so nice to get home from work and have the house smelling so good. Plus, dinner is ready!

  2. Yvonne Erwin

    Good evening, Barb.

    Here in Missouri, we’ve had an ice/snow “episode” but we’re promised warmer temps for the next several days, into the 60s. I’m looking forward to that.

    My internet has kicked me off so many times this evening that I am now frustrated and ill-equipped to respond to your post in the way that I would like to, but at the same time, I just want to. I am not as fluid as I would like to be. So, bear with me, here goes.

    I am a different cook in warmer temps than I am in colder temps and I suppose everybody is. In the warm weather, we, my family and me, grill out a lot, we eat light pasta dishes, a lot of fruit, ice cream…but in cold weather, my thoughts inevitably turn to comfort foods. Food you can wrap your heart around and get lost in.

    Two dishes I’ve been working on this winter are potato gratin and the all-American classic, mac and cheese.

    To start with, I have fallen in love with guyere cheese. I’m telling you, your recipe doesn’t have to be fancy or take 9 million exotic ingredients to be wonderful and chill-chasing and comforting. Ya just gotta love what you’re doing.

    Both of my dishes call for guyere cheese and parmesan, a lot of that, onion, fresh nutmeg, and I’ve even wound a braid of fresh thyme for the top of my mac and cheese. I tend to work with a white sauce and build from there. I have gemelli pasta in my pantry for the mac and cheese; Yukon gold potatos for the gratin. The rest of the ingredients are very similar.

  3. Wonderful ideas, thank you!

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