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Apple Butter

recipe from Canning for a New Generation, pg 186

– 6 lbs apples ($3/lb @ Santa Monica 3rd St FM)
– 2 cups water or apple cider
– 1½ cups sugar
– ½ tsp ground allspice
– 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
– ½ tsp ground cloves

CORING. It appears that I have the absolute worst kind of apple corer out there (it’s more of a double-edged serrated knife than this or this kind of awesomeness), hence my first ever apple coring experience made me weep and cry for mommy.

CIDER vs WATER. I don’t understand why you would add apple cider (especially if it has to be store bought), so I didn’t just to see if the appleness flavor suffered. In the end, adding water instead of cider worked wonderfully.

FOOD MILLING. If you don’t have a Squeezo, then the process for separating apple pulp from seeds/skin is to core, slice into chunks, boil to soften, then food mill to separate the peels. But food milling is such a pain in the ass—the mush is hot, turning is hard, and digging out the leftover peels is messy and time-consuming. I’m thinking that next time I should just take a few minutes to peel the darn things as I core. Oooh or invest in this crazy contraption!

TEXTURE. My texture wasn’t quite as smooth as the store bought variety so maybe I shouldn’t have skipped the optional blending before the pulp went into the slow cooker.

SLOW COOKING. This was a joy to watch (and smell) cook down all day. Unlike most dishes cooked in the slow cooker where all is lost if you peek in, the apple butter has to be stirred every so often which means, of course, that you have to taste every so often (joy!). The recipe doesn’t actually say to taste but I’m sure it’s implied.

Besides pairing with hot biscuits and turkey/brie sandwiches, I also want to try this stirred into roasted squash soup (Canning for a New Generation, pg 229), mixed with mustard as a glaze for pork loin, or blended with other goodies for barbecue sauce.