When I’m writing up a recipe for my blog– usually one that I think will be pretty okay– I generally type up a mini outline that starts out something like this:
Blah, blah, blah
And then I try to think of something, clever or otherwise, to say about it. So things went last night when I began working on my apple butter recipe. I made up my outline, wrote out all of the ingredients I used and the steps I took, and then I walked away. And, generally, after I make a recipe and taste it, I jot down a few notes– just my general impressions. This time, well, this time I didn’t have to jot anything down. All I could say– all I could think– upon that first taste this morning was, “Mmmmmmmm.” Then I had to find another spoon to take another taste ASAP– no double dipping this one. And the second spoon resulted in a third, and I hate to admit it, but a fourth as well.
This is probably one of the most delicious things to come out of my kitchen since, well, ever. And it was also EASY to make. So, so easy. Talk about set it and forget it, and I didn’t even need a food mill.
I know I usually tell you that you should try something, but…wow. Just…Mmmmmmmmmm.
7-8 medium to large-sized apples (Granny Smith & Pink Lady)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp apple cider
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp butter
Core and slice the apples– don’t worry about peeling them. These were the apples from our apple picking trip, so I didn’t go overly crazy washing them. Just a quick run under water and then a dry. If you use apples from the grocery store, you may want to drop them in some boiling water for about 15 seconds to dissolve some of the wax they may have on them. That or peel them.
I used four large Granny Smith apples and three medium Pink Lady apples. The boy and I snuck three slices while I was putting this together, but I don’t think those three slices will be missed too much.
In a crock pot, combine the apple slices and all of the other ingredients.
I left the crock pot on low for seven hours, and in a fit of sleepless concern about it burning, I came downstairs at 3:30 am and set it to warm until I got up at 5:30.
The apples had almost completely broken down, but there was a lot more liquid than I wanted. I’m fairly sure that was due to the condensation in the crock pot. So I stirred the contents, and set the lid halfway back on,raising the heat back up to low for another hour.
The mixture was very thick, but not too thick. I was going to try to push it through a sieve to remove any pieces of peel, but they had broken down so much that they were virtually undetectable, and they left the apple butter with a really pleasing texture.
I also decided to go for broke and can these guys– four 1/2 pint jars,
filled with a 1/4 inch head space,
wiped, and processed in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Do some research about how to can things– I’m not expert enough to feel comfortable giving instructions about this particular thing.
I have no idea how long it’d be good for, and I’m pretty sure we aren’t likely to find out. In fact, I think it’ll probably only last around a few days in our house. If you don’t want to can it, you can keep it in a food safe container in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Bet it doesn’t last that long, though!
Straight up on English muffins, toast, waffles, pancakes, as a filling in cakes and cupcakes, or as a glaze over poultry– this is one recipe worth making ASAP.
Yield: 2 cups (2 pints or four 1/2 pint jars)