when i think of fall festivals and farmer's markets, i envision myself oggling over all the specialty butters like blueberry butter, strawberry butter and of course, apple butter.
so, when i came across this simple recipe to make my own apple butter, i couldn't resist. in fact, i couldn't even wait and went immediately to the grocery store to buy the necessary ingredients.
if you make this yourself, as soon as you get home, take an apple out of your bag and immediately begin spinning the stem around while saying the alphabet. as you know (or maybe you don't), whatever letter your stem tears away on is the beginning letter of your true love's first name. throughout my life, i have either spun slowly or quickly depending on when i wanted the stem to pull out. this time, it totally came out on my eye guy's initial and i swear i didn't even pull extra hard. fate.
if you're so inclined to make this apple butter after checking out the recipe, let me tell you up front that the most work comes right up front when working with the apples themselves. you have to peel, core and chop them up. for those of you with a fancy apple slicer, this will be much quicker. wanna hear something funny? after making this with a knife and some elbow grease, i saw that in my very own utensil drawer, i have one of those fancy tools myself and didn't realize it. yeah, didn't think it was funny either.
with the apples all chopped and ready to cook, i got out my slow cooker. yup, any time i get to make something that i walk away from and come back to find a completed dish hours later makes me giddy. so giddy in fact, that i celebrated by sleeping. in the slow cooker, i added all my ingredients and then went to bed.
as i caught up on some zzzs, my trusty slow cooker was hard at work melding the spices into every crevice of the apples in order to create a smooth taste that would surely please.
sure enough, my slow cooker the next morning revealed a smell that should be put into candle form. adding the chunks of ingredients to my food processor, i churned the mass into a smooth, spreadable apple butter.
jarring the finished product made me feel proud to have created something so delicious, so autumn-like and yet so simple. this is the type of recipe i'll revisit annually. my bagels and toast have thanked me.
slower cooker apple butter
6 whole apples
1 cup apple juice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 whole lemon peel
1. Peel and chop apples into small pieces.
2. Add to the slow cooker and cover with apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, salt, and lemon peel.
3. Cook on HIGH until the apples come to a bubble.
4. Reduce heat to LOW and cook for 6 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally. The apples will have thickened.
5. Take out the lemon peel. Puree until smooth if desired.
i store my apple butter in my refrigerator and i recommend you do too.