Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Recipe: All Day Apple Butter (Slow Cooker/Crock Pot)

I think I have mentioned this recipe in previous posts, and this is an excellent time of year for me to post it. The apples in this region are ripening, and we're coming up to Mabon. I grew up with apple butter in Indiana, every autumn, and I remember going to Nashville, Indiana, and seeing the pretty jars with the gingham cloth covers. Buying it in the grocery store wasn't just didn't seem to have the right texture.

After emigrating to England, apple butter was one thing that I really missed, so I set out to discover a recipe that I could make myself and found this one. It is very much tried and tested, and my English friends that I can convince to try it end up falling in love with it, and can't wait until I do my annual batch.  I store it in recycled plastic takeaway tubs, and I generally have seven or eight for my fridge (and it lasts for a really long time in there), and the rest go into the freezer until Witchy Kitty finds out that I've made it, then one goes home with her, and one or two go to American ex-pat friends in Digby. The rest get used throughout the year, generally pulled out when I have friends over and have made (an attempt, not perfected) gluten free scones.

For those of you that have never tried it, the way that I explain it to the sceptics is that it's like an apple conserve, and really nice on bread, scones, toast, pork, turkey, etc. You can use it in other recipes, as well. I have a mini pie maker that I have yet to test out, and I'm contemplating making apple butter pies. It is dairy free, gluten free, and pretty much free from everything else unless you have issues with spices, sugar, or apples.

Here's the recipe:

5 1/2 to 6 lbs of apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (you can use any type of eating apples. I prefer red or golden delicious, as these are common varieties in Indiana)
4 cups of white sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon (I use rounded tsp, but I adore cinnamon)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

Place the apples in a slow cooker.  In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Pour the mixture over the apples and mix well.

Cover and cook on High for 1 hour.

Reduce heat to Low, and cook for 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.

Uncover and continue cooking on Low for 1 hour.  Stir with a whisk, if desired, in increase smoothness (I'm also known for using my potato masher).

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

I know that I got this off of a website, but, unfortunately, it's been a decade, so I can't remember where it came from. 



Andrea said...

I've never had apple butter, but lately I've been seeing quite a few posts about it around the internet. Thanks for the recipe!

Angela said...

I grew up in MD and we always ate Apple Butter! I loved October because we would go out to the western part of the state and pick up apple butter and homemade cider and oh I am drooling just thinking about it. I accidentally started making apple butter in the crock pot last year and won't make it any other way. It gets the perfect consistency and tastes better being slow cooked. Then I can them so we can give some as Yule/Christmas gifts and eat year round.