Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adventures in Slow-Cooking

I found the best unexpected slow-cooker recipe yet... Apple Butter! 

We have some friends that are part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and every month they get a box of farm fresh produce- what ever happens to be in season that month.  They were going to England to celebrate Christmas with family, and offered us their box for December.  In it were three types of winter squash, two bags of mixed greens, some cilantro (don't know how that was in season, but whatever), dried thyme, two bunches of carrots, and about half a dozen of red delicious apples.  Everything got picked off one by one until all that was left were the apples.  Don't ask me how they got left behind, lost in the shuffle I guess, but they started to soften a bit and I started going through the mental list of what to make with them.  Apple bread or muffins?  Apple sauce?  and then it hit me... Apple Butter!  Now, I love apple butter, but I am the only one in my house to eat the stuff so I usually don't buy it.  But I got a new canning pot (and utensils) on mega clearance this fall and took that as the perfect opportunity to try it all out.

The recipe made 8 1/2 pints (17 cups) of butter that is now canned and awaiting its ultimate purpose.  Some of it will go back to the couple that gave us the box.  The recipe is below!

All Day Apple Butter

5 1/2 pounds of apples peeled cored and finely chopped
4 cups white sugar*
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

1.  Place all ingredients in a slow cooker, mix well, and set to cook on high covered for 1 hour.
2.  Turn cooker to low and cook for 9 to 11 hours (I went with 11 and did this overnight).

3.  Uncover and cook on low for another hour.

4.  Blend until desired consistency.

5.  Spoon into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate or freeze.  

* if your apples are super sweet you won't need nearly that amount of sugar.  My apples were a combo of red delicious, fugi, and galas, all pretty sweet apples so I cut the amount back to 3 cups and it was plenty sweet.  You can put in half the amount in and check it and added it as you feel need be. 

1 comment:

  1. The boys really should try this delicious "Apple Butter" -- :-)