December 22, 2011

Apple Butter

One of my favorite almost-weekly purchases at the farmer's market is local apples. The farmer I buy them from has several different varieties each week. I think he said they grow about 50 kinds. They are super flavorful - really, so complex and delicious most store bought apples are not in the same league.

The farmer recommended a certain variety for apple butter, and so I thought I'd try it. Then I found this fabulously easy recipe to make apple butter in a crockpot. What could be easier or more delicious?

I didn't have the 5-6 pounds of apples recommended in this recipe, so I had to guess on the amount of sugar and spices. But, fortunately, it turned out great.

Apple Butter
from Dawn's Recipes

5 or 6 pounds of apples, or enough to fill slow cooker
2 1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
zest and juice from 1 small orange

1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and spices.
2. Core and quarter the apples. Do not peel them.
3. Lightly grease the inside of the slow cooker.
4. Alternate layering the apples and sugar mixture in the slow cooker. Pour the orange juice and zest on top.
5. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours.
6. Working in batches, puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Or use an immersion blender directly in the slow cooker.
7. If you want the consistency of the apple butter to be a little thicker, cook an additional 30 to 60 minutes with the lid off. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

Can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 months or in the freezer for 3 months.

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