Monday, October 31, 2011

Apple Butter

Can I just randomly say something about my freezer?

I think that the freezer is one of the greatest inventions in the world...if I had about 3 days straight to cook, I think I could easily do that "once a month" cooking. As it is, I have not yet been able to grasp this concept.
However, I do love it when I can fix butternut squash soup or whole grain cardamom pancakes, freeze them, and then pull them out days later, heat them up--and they're just as yummy as before. Needless to say, my freezer is full and happy!

(well, and some of it is contraband that I have to hide from myself...)
But enough about my freezer...on to the apple butter!! I love apple butter :) This recipe is from my Simply Sugar & Gluten Free cookbook that my sister gave me. And it's in the crockpot!! I just bought an immersion blender, and it's totally worth it for recipes like this...I also tried my hand at canning in 1/2 pint jars for the first time!

4-5 pounds apples, cored and sliced (I used Gala; don't worry about peeling)
1/2-1 c. unsweetened frozen apple juice concentrate, divided
1/2 t. ground allspice
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 1/2-2 t. cinnamon, divided
pinch of salt

Place apples in large slow cooker. (I use Gala apples because they're sweeter)

Melt 1/2c. apple juice concentrate in microwave or on the stovetop and pour over apples. Sprinkle the apples with allspice, cloves, nutmeg, 1 1/2 t. cinnamon, and salt. Gently stir with a large wooden spoon. Place lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hrs. or overnight.
Check apples after 8 hours; if they need to be cooked longer, leave slow cooker on. When apples are soft, puree with immersion blender while the apples are still in the slow cooker. Or you can tranfer them to a food processor or blender and puree in small batches. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding the remaining 1/2 c. apple juice concentrate and 1/2 t. cinnamon for sweetness, if desired. Continue to cook on low with the lid off until the apple butter is thick.

Store in glass jars in the refrigerator for two months, or freeze. If you want to can them using the immersion method, sterilize jars and lids. Carefully take jars out of the boiling water, then spoon in the apple butter. After twisting on the lid, turn jars upside down for 15 min. Then turn them right side up, and allow to cool completely. Enjoy this recipe; it tastes like fall!

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