It’s starting to get chilly up here in my little corner of the world (New England — New Hampshire/Maine border roughly) and that means changing leaves, sweaters, that little nip in the air and APPLES!
In honor of the changing of the season (Yes, I know it’s not official until the 22nd of September, but I got excited!) I decided to try my hand at making up some apple butter. I took a quick drive to a local farm stand and picked up half a peck (about 4.5 – 5 lbs) of delicious Jona-Mac Apples. The Jona-Mac is a hybrid that combines the rich flavor of McIntosh with some of the spiciness of the Jonathan.
After getting home, I decided to take a look at some recipes to figure out how to go about making up my first ever batch of Apple butter.. the one I finally settled on was the “Oh She Glows Slow Cooker Naked Apple Butter” and then tweaked it a bit to suit my own needs
What I did:
Slice up the apples : Don’t bother peeling them– The puree step will break down what is left of the peels after they’ve been cooked down. Plus, there is a lot of good stuff in apple skins (Pectin, which acts as a stool softener (not to put too fine a point on it) by encouraging water uptake. Quercitin is there…that’s a flavonoid that’s supposed to help prevent heart attacks. Apple skins are also high in phenols, a type of antioxidant. Most of the fiber in apples is in the skin, as well as cancer-fighting phytonutrients)
Stick the apples in your crock-pot, crank it up to high and put the lid on. Then walk away.. Seriously, leave it alone for about an hour and half. Come back and check on it, and give it a stir make sure the apples aren’t sticking to the bottom. Then go watch another episode of Once upon A Time (seriously– how good is that show?!!) and then check it again. Give it another stir. Eventually, the apples will break down while you’re stirring and you’ll be able to mash them up and they’ll start to look like applesauce. That’s when we really start having fun.
Turn off the crock-pot and let it cool a bit. Then spoon out your “apple sauce” into a blender . (If you’ve got a small one, like me– this might take one or two blender-fuls). Blend the mixture (AFTER you’ve put the lid on tightly, otherwise– it can get messy) slowly at first, then increasing speed as it gets smoother. Eventually, you’ll end up with this super smooth, creamy looking apple sauce/mixture. But we’re not done yet. After you’ve got this amazing creamy mixture.. pour it BACK into your crock pot and let it cook down again (probably another 45-60 minutes) uncovered.. This is when your house really starts to smell amazing. I differed from “Oh She Glows” here and added in about a 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 3 Tbs of cinnamon. After it cooked down to a thicker consistency, I let it cool a bit then ladled it into jars to share with friends.
This is what you end up with. Yummy, creamy, apple-y sweet goodness.
Give it a try and let me know what you think 🙂
I’ve linked this recipe up with Long Drive Journey. Head over there for some more awesome apple recipes to try out!