my last post, I wanted to try my hand at apple butter.
I'd found a recipe on one of my favorite healthy-eating blogs (Eating Bird Food, which I've mentioned here before), and it sounded so good, so fall-like, and so easy, that I had to try it.
The only part that made me a little nervous was that it called for the apples to be cooked in the crock pot for 15 hours. Fifteen?! I cross-referenced the idea in a Fix-It and Forget-It cookbook, and sure enough, all apple butter recipes called for it to be cooked for 15-18 hours. Wow! Knowing my crock pot tends to run a little hot, I was still nervous, but I put on my game face and gave it a try.
The recipe is very simple and very easy. I was especially drawn to the fact that it has no added sugar, so it's very healthy.
Healthy Homemade Apple Butter
From Eating Bird Food
10 medium-sized apples (I used Cortland. Pick a sweet variety, since there's no extra sugar.)
2 cups unsweetened apple juice (I used R.W. Knudsen's organic 100% apple juice)
1/4 cup water
1/4 apple cider vinegar
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
1. Place cored and sliced apples (not peeled—easy!) into a crock pot/slow cooker. (Mine's a smaller-variety crock pot.)
2. Pour juice on top of the sliced apples. Add water, vinegar, and spices. Stir all ingredients together, cover the pot, and let it cook on low for 15 hours.
3. The liquid and the apples will reduce to about 1/2 their original volume. They'll be very soft and dark. Turn the crock pot off and let it cool down for about 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until completely smooth.
4. Let it cool, then transfer into storage containers. My batch only made about 2 full pints of apple butter, so it's not a huge recipe. Store in the fridge for a few weeks, or freeze for later!
As I said, my crockpot is on the smaller side, so 10 apples filled it.
Thankfully, the smoke alarm never went off, everything stayed in the pot, and it turned out perfectly. (Hooray!) This is how the apples looked when I woke up:
Any other suggestions? How do you like to eat apple butter?