Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Honey Scented Apple Butter for Jar Hoarders

They said I shouldn't use red delicious apples for making apple butter, but because I had a plethora of them, I decided to take my chances!
Most resources say that red delicious apples are for eating only, not cooking or baking; I would typically agree. These appples tend to be mealy/starchy and not as flavorful compared to Galas or Fujis. But last Friday, I hit the red delicious apple jackpot at work. I certainly was not going to make apple pie with these babies! And apple sauce just plain boring! Apple butter- the perfect way to use up 5-6 lbs of apples:)
It is a long process, but there really is not much work involved. A bit of planning is a good idea. I like to start this in the evening, around 6 pm, so that by 9pm, I can walk away for 7-8 hours (and sleep!!). In the morning, some stirring is involved and maybe a little pureeing if you have an immersion blender. Don't worry about pureeing at this point if you don't have one, just wait until the end.
Some recipes call for apple cider or grape juice, and I have used these in the past, but water works just fine. I never have juice around anyway (like a good clean eater). I have also used Sucanat or regular sugar, but honestly, with this batch, I was just trying to use up my ginormous Costco sized honey. Use what you like or what "must-go".
By the way, NO NEED TO PEEL YOUR APPLES!! Save your time and let the heat break the peel down for you.
Honey Scented Apple Butter

10 red delicious apples (about 5 lbs.)
2 cups water
1 cup honey
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves

Wash apples well to remove waxy coating. Use a bit of dish soap or a fruit and vegetable wash. Core apples (no need to peel) and place in a large slow cooker; 10 apples filled my slow cooker.
Add water, drizzle with ¾ cup honey and toss with spices. Set slow cooker to high heat for 3 hours, stirring about twice during cooking.
After 3 hours on high, the apples are quite soft. Stir in remaining honey and set slow cooker to low for an additional 7-8 hours; I like to do this part over night;waking up to the apple butter aroma is amazing!
In the morning,the apples will look nice and caramelized. Puree (I use an emmersion blender to make it easy). Skip this step if you dont have an immersion blender (just too much work in the morning), and just puree at the end of cooking. Set slow cooker for another 7 hours on low, before heading to work and the apple butter will be waiting once you are back.
After 7 hours or so, the apples will be deeply caramelized, and buttery!

I am sort of a jar hoarder; I save jars (and sometimes people save them for me) for multiple uses: storing Herbie's toothbrush, keeping cotton balls, as snack containers, for storing salad dressings, and for "jarring" homemade goodies like you see here! I either give these away, or hoard them in my freezer. My hubby made we watch the show Hoarders, as a way to intervene. But I love my jars, and they have purpose!

Love my apple butter: over cottage cheese with chopped almonds, swirled into yogurt, over pancakes instead of syrup, French toast, by the spoonful...dessert pizza, over vanilla frozen yogurt, with almond butter in a sandwich....

Or simply spread over whole wheat toast!

1 comment:

  1. This is the best apple butter recipe ever made!
    I made it in my grandma's old crockadoodle doo!