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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Apple Butter in Washington

Oh Washington State! Apples are one of Washington's most well-known produce (also up there with Washington cherries!). And tis the season for some applicious recipes.

I had a bunch of local heirloom apples (Pinova, Sweet Orin, and Liberty). One of my favorite easy apple recipes is slow cooker apple butter. I absolutely LOVE the way it makes my house smell while cooking! Plus, it's so fabulous to spread on some toast or some warm home made pan dulce (another recipe I've become quite fond of).

To make my apple butter, I started out with 7 apples. I'm a lazy kind of gal, so any time I deal with apples, I pull out my trusty apple peeler/corer/slicer (like this one). I first discovered this tool in middle school during a winter bake sale event. Racing to see who can spin their apple through the peeling/slicing/coring contraption is pretty fun - and it's a great task for kids!
From apple butter

After getting all the sliced apples, I plop them in the slow cooker. Some people add sugar now (if you like your apple butter sweeter, you can add up to four cups! But take into account the sweetness of your apples).

But, I have a honey problem. I mean I can't stop buying honey. Especially when I travel, or go to farmer's markets, or um, grocery stores...
From apple butter

So I put in about 3/4 to a cup of honey (eyeballing the amount) in with my apples.
From apple butter

Then you put in your spices. This is really up to you... what are your favorite spices? I can't resist cardamom (it's my favorite spice!), but no apple dish is complete without cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This mix of spices will definitely make your house smell like an apple pie... and who wouldn't love that smell? I used about 1 tsp cardamom, 3 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cloves, and 1/2 tsp salt.
From apple butter

Stir everything together, and cook on high in your covered slow cooker for an hour. Then, turn your cooker down to low and cook for another 9-11 hours or over night. To get that thick butter, you may want to take off the cover and cook for another hour or so after that.
From apple butter

If you want a nice smooth butter, you can put the resulting mixture through a food mill. If you don't have a food mill, try using an immersion blender.

Don't forget to share with friends and coworkers!


Paul said...

I think I'll give this a try!

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