Friday, November 8, 2013

Apple Butter

**Random Kid update**The Baby Boy and his Chick are getting on the Ferry for Alaska TODAY in Bellingham, Washington...

When I lived in Kansas with my mom, one of the Fall activities I enjoyed was going to an orchard and picking fruit.  Apples and peaches (except for the unfortunate "Peaches" incident,) were picked, processed and stored.  I loved the smell of the house as my mom made apple butter, apple pie filling, peach pie filling, peach jelly...

Dave took me to the store on Sunday, I'm still not driving after my fall and sprained ankle.  I needed some curtains for the new windows in the dinning area.  I went to pick out the curtains, then went to the Starbucks and got a coffee to wait for Dave (he had to to the shopping).  As I sat there, an older man got his coffee and sat down and began to visit with me.  Turns out his name was Tony and he was 86.  We had a nice visit while we sipped our coffee.  One of the things we talked about is how people buy everything we used to make; like bread, butter, and jam.  He had grown up on a farm, like I did, and you either made it or you did without.

Living in Fairbanks, it really isn't cost effective to make your own like we did on the farm.  And, I certainly don't need anymore excuses to eat sweets or have the need to store a year's worth of food.  But I do love the smell of the house while something simmers on the stove (or in this case the crock pot).  So I made apple butter in the crock pot. Dave had to go back and get some apples and when we got home, I made a small batch, just enough for some filling in spice muffins, the topping for my yogurt, and on some toast.
I used a mix of Granny Smith and Jazz apples

A kitchen towel to help with the evaporation process

About 4 hours into the cooking.
After 10 hours of cooking and a spin with the emersion blender.

I certainly didn't need it, but it did smell wonderful, taste delicious, and I'm sure my ankle is better for it eating it.  I'll look for Tony next week when I go shopping to thank him for the great idea.
A dollop of apple butter on my yogurt/cottage cheese snack.  YUM!

Apple Butter
this made about 2.5 cups of apple butter
6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
6 Jazz Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Place all ingredients into slow cooker.  Cook on high for 1 hour, turn to low, place a kitchen towel under the lid and down the sides to help steam escape (or just set the lid off center to allow steam to escape) and cook 8-10 hours more.  At this point you can break down the apples with a pastry blender or use an immersion blender to puree, depending on the texture you enjoy.

Let cool completely, pack in small containers and freeze.

I do not add sugar, I think it is sweet enough without, but you could add granulated sugar or brown sugar to taste.  Start with 1/2 cup.  Remember, it will be sweeter as it thickens and loses the water as it cooks.

November 8, 2013   Daylight 7 hrs, 0 min, 46 sec.   Temp H 18/ L 12°F

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