Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tastes Like Fall

You might recall we recently got a ton of apples, and I figured it was time to find something that would use up a bunch of them, plus try something different, AND something that would stretch out the harvest by preserving them. I'd come across a recipe for slow cooker apple butter, and decided to give it a try. Never having had/made apple butter, this was one of those risky recipes...it's gonna make a lot of something I just might not like! Aw heck - let's go for it!

The first part is to peel and cut up 5 1/2 pounds of apples - you know that's gonna take awhile! Once done, the apples are combined with 4 cups of sugar (yes, I know, it's alot), cinnamon, cloves and salt, and dumped into the slow cooker.

Easy can do!

The next part was to let them cook on high for an hour, then low for 9-11 hours, and then uncovered for another hour. Ok, too complicated - things have been too hectic and busy lately, so they basically got put on low and left to go for about 12 hours. After most of that time they were looking like this:

...and smelling SO GOOOOOD! You'll notice they've still retained their shape. Folks on line recommended hitting them with an immersion blender, rather than the whisking listed in the recipe. COOL! Any excuse to use my kick-ass Bamix immersion blender (gifted to me by my honey years ago!) is fine by me!

Whizz whizz...

Over all it looked a bit more red than I expected, but was looking and tasting good! It was definitely THINNER than I expected - perhaps because I didn't stir it frequently while cooking the pectins weren't developed as a thickening agent? Or maybe I just had particularly wet apples? No problem - I let it cook a few more hours, which also reduced it a little.

Folks commenting on the recipe said they hot-bath canned it...which sounded better to me than taking up valuable freezer space. Here's the end result:

Mmmm...tastes like fall!


FinnyKnits said...

Well, that is downright fancy!

And what do you do with apple butter?

Thanks to ill-advised trips to Cracker Barrel in college (stupid Then Boyfriend who liked green beans with breakfast - sick!) I have an aversion to any fruit spread called "butter".

Jeph said...

Now why would you ask a silly question like that... "What do you do with it?" HA!

Well, we prop it up on display, much like pickled okra or, oh, pickled peppers where maybe the canning process didn't go quite right and then you're terrified to eat it - but it sure does LOOK pretty! So you set it out for all to see...

LOL Nah - I've spread it on a toasted bagel and it was pretty good. I'm thinking I'm gonna try it as a PB&J sandwich. OH! And I saw a video where a guy was making a great-sounding bbq sauce made of 1/2 store bought bbq and 1/2 apple butter! Sounds good!

So do you not like Cracker Barrel at all, or just their butters? Have you ever had their chicken and dumplings? What about their fried okra? Turns out that, aside from a couple mom-n-pop food places (a bad overpriced pizza place and a bad chinese place), Cracker Barrel is the closest restaurant to us. Yes, for real. We're that close to the highway!! LOL