Sunday, December 22, 2013

Slow Cooked Apple Butter

This post could have been called Sloooooow Cooked Apple Butter. It bubbles away for over 24 hours in the slow cooker making the house smell amazing.

This was my first time making apple butter and it turned out absolutely delicious. Like apple pie in a jar. Without the fattening pastry. Unless of course you make spread it on buttery toast, which I highly recommend. Or bake it into crescent rolls. Or stuff it into puff pastry to make apple turnovers. Okay.... there's lots of sinful ways to un-healthify apple butter.

You're going to end up with tons of the stuff. I made 9 jars. You'll definitely want to gift some. How to use the remaining jars? Let me count the ways:
  • On toast, pancakes, waffles, crepes, etc.
  • Apple Pie Smoothie
  • Apple Turnovers
  • Apple Pie Crescent Rolls (pictured above - spread apple butter on Pilsbury Crescent Rolls before rolling up. Bake as directed on package.)
  • Condiment with pork or potato latkes
  • Stir into oatmeal
  • Swap apple butter for pumpkin puree as a pie filling? I'll let y'all know if I try this out of course
  • Use in place of applesauce in baked goods
  • Eat it out of the jar with a spoon standing in front of the fridge while deciding what to eat for lunch. Not that I've done that. Much.

One Year Ago: Thai Feast

Adapted from Eating Richly
Makes 8 or 9 pint jars
You may want to set the slow cooker on a wooden board or something that will absorb heat in case it gets too hot- apparently they've been known to warp counter tops and it's going to be on for a long time.
  • 8 lbs apples, washed (I used Gala apples)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
Core and roughly chop apples (do not peel) and add to slow cooker as you go until full. You will not fit in all the apples at first. Set the remaining apples aside. Mix together sugar and spices in a bowl. Add to apples and stir to combine. Turn slow cooker to low for 8 to 10 hours. Stir once in a while if you are walking by.

Apples will have really cooked down at this point. Chop remaining apples and add to slow cooker.  Stir and cook on low for another 10 to 12 hours, stirring occasionally. Puree (an immersion blender is the easiest as you can put it right in the crock pot) and return apple butter to crock. Continue to cook on low with the lid off until apple butter reaches the desired consistency. It will thicken slightly when cool. Taste and add more sugar or spices to taste (I didn't need to add anything else to mine). Keep apple butter refrigerated or can it using the waterbath method following the instructions at the bottom of the recipe HERE.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Cindy Mushet's Italian Jam Shortbread Tart (Fregolotta) on Food52
Photo from Food 52

It's been a while since I've done a Bookmarked post, hasn't it? Here's a round up of what made me drool this week. Food-wise. I'm not including non-food items like a recent Pinterest search for "hot men" I conducted.

On second thought, I am going to include one link from that search. This may the weirdest and most strangely addictive blog ever. Just too good not to share. I present: Des Hommes et des Chats (Men and Cats). Side note: if you want to start a blog full of crazy apparently you go to Tumblr.

Salted Brown Sugar Toffee Cookies via Wit and Vinegar

Chorizo, Fontina, Artichoke, and Caramelized Onion Dip via Half Baked Harvest

Foolproof Pie Crust via Food 52 I used this pie crust for quiche this week and it was the best pie crust I've ever made. I baked the scraps left from trimming the dough for the pie plate and ate them with jam spread on top. And then went for a run.

Hasselback Potato Gratin via Serious Eats Crispy and creamy potatoes in the same dish? Yes please.

Chocolate Diablo Cookies via Chatelaine I've had these bookmarked for a while but made them this week to bring in to work for a holiday lunch. My team gobbled them up in about 2.5 seconds. There weren't quite enough to go around (I didn't get one, but I had some at home anyway), but rather than sharing the giant cookies my teammates starting claiming they had already licked them, rendering them unsharable. I guess they're pretty good.

Triple Ginger Snaps via Food 52 and Triple Gingerbread Cake via Serious Eats. Tis the season

Italian Shortbread Jam Tart via Food 52 I'm kind of addicted to Food 52 lately, clearly

Spiced Parsnip Cake again, via Food 52 Like carrot cake, but with parsnips. Intriguing.