Sunday, October 7, 2012

Apple Butter

This recipe appeared in Thursday's Edition of The Hinton Voice.
  [Fall is officially here!  It’s my absolute favorite time of year.  The beautiful scenery, the crisp, fragrant air, the crunching of leaves as you walk on the sidewalk... and who doesn’t love the delicious fall treats that are only available this time of year?  I for one have been counting down the days until my favorite coffee shops come out with their fall menus.  It’s also harvest time, which means there’s lots of great local produce available.  I managed to acquire a 20 lb. box of apples recently, so with it I made a few batches of apple butter. 


So what is apple butter you ask? Apple butter is essentially a deeply concentrated form of applesauce that is the thickness of butter.  It can be spread on toast or pancakes, stirred into oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothies, used in baking, or my personal favorite, eaten directly off a spoon.  A mere pint is packed with the nutrients from 12 apples, so you don’t have to feel guilty eating it straight from the jar - because trust me, this will happen.  The apples are cooked down slowly, for several hours until all of the sugar from the apples caramelizes into a spread that holds one of the deepest apple flavors you will ever find.

Assembling the ingredients is the easy part – the hard part is the wait!  It takes 12-16 hours to make apple butter, but thankfully a slow cooker can do most of the work. From hour 2-16 your house is going to smell better than an entire day of baking. I made this overnight once and when I woke up, my whole house smelled so amazing; no amount of candles, scent bars, or air fresheners could ever replicate it. 

So there you have it - a wholesome, tasty treat packed full of flavor. It tastes like pie in a jar, and reminds me of this wonderful season more than any other food.  I hope you enjoy this delicious fall treat as much as I do!]

Ingredients
- 1 dozen apples, any variety
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup filtered water
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp allspice

Directions

Peel, core, and dice apples, then place them in a slow cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.   Place the lid on the slow cooker, but prop it open slightly to allow moisture to escape (I prop the handle of a wooden spoon between the lid and the base). Set slow cooker on low and cook for 12-16 hours, until apples have reduced significantly and turn a deep caramel color.

Remove apple mixture from slow cooker and place in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.   The apple butter is now ready if you plan on storing it in the fridge.  Apple butter will keep quite well in a fashion similar to jam.  

If you are planning on canning, return the apple butter to your slow cooker and bring it back to a boil.  Place the apple butter in hot, sterilized mason jars being careful to not spill any on the edges.  If you do spill some on the edges, be sure to clean the rim with a damp cloth, then dry it afterwards as even a small spill could ruin the seal.  Place a new seal on the jar and screw on the rim.  Place jars in a boiling water bath or pressure canner for approx. 10 minutes.   Once the jars have cooled, press down on the top of the seal to ensure that the jar has sealed properly.  Place any jars that didn’t seal directly into the fridge.

Recipe makes just over a pint (2 cups).

- Nutritional Info (1 tbsp) -

Calories - 41   Fat - 0    Carbs – 11     Protein - 0   Fibre – 2
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4 comments:

  1. This sounds so good. What type of apple did you use?

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    Replies
    1. I used Gala apples this time around but I've used red delicious before also. I think any type of apple will do, you might get a slightly different flavour depending on the variety used. Granny Smith or crab apples would be a lot more tart, macintosh, gala, red delicious would be a bit sweeter.

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  2. Thank you. I can't wait to make this. I think it would be a great gift to share as well, and I'm wondering if there is another cooking method that would allow you to make more then one batch at a time...and mabey in less then 12 hours?

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