Friday, September 17, 2010

Foodie Friday: Harvest Apple Butter


We're approaching fall, and while my all-time favorite season is summer, I must admit that fall comes in at a close second. I love the cool, crisp, fresh air that we get as we head into fall. It also reminds me of football season and the upcoming fall holidays.  I also love the seasonal foods and SMELLS of fall.  That brings me to today's recipe.

Several weeks ago I was on Mission: Apple Butter -- thanks to my husband who made the request.  Even though I searched high and low, I could not find apple butter in any store.  I figured that it must be because it's not apple butter season yet.  So I set out to make my own. I've made pumpkin butter before, so apple butter couldn't be that much different.  And I love a food challenge!  What I love about this recipe is it is super easy!  It's also got a wonderful flavor and texture.  It will not be like any store bought apple butter. That's for sure!  And it is going to make your home smell like fall, and I really love that  part of it.  Enjoy this over whole grain toast, English muffins, pancakes, or waffles.  It also works well mixed into oatmeal or even yogurt.  Serve it alongside chicken or pork for dinner.  And, this sounds weird, but put a little dollop in your coffee, and it will instantly bring your coffee into the season!  Enjoy! 

Harvest Apple Butter
Adapted from:  Cooking Light 2004
{Print this recipe}
Ingredients:
10 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into big chunks (I've used Fuji, Gala, and Granny Smith apples.  Experiment with different apples and have fun with it!)
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/4 c honey
1/4 c apple cider
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground mace 

Directions:
  1. Add all ingredients into a 4-5 quart crock pot.  Cover and heat on low for 10 hours or until the apples are tender throughout. This can be done overnight and would be perfect on a weekend.
  2. There are 2 options for the next step.  1)  Remove apples from the crock pot and allow to cool for a bit.  Puree in a blender or food processor in small batches until they are the consistency of a thin applesauce.  OR  2) Put a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl.  Place small portions of the apple mixture into the strainer. Using the back of a wooden spoon, press the mixture through the strainer.  Continue this process with the remaining apple mixture.  Discard leftover pulp.  I also discard the leftover juices from the crockpot before filling with the puree.
  3. Place the puree back into the crock pot and continue cooking uncovered on high for 1 1/2 hours or until the mixture is thick. Be sure to stir occasionally.
  4. Remove the apple butter from the crock pot and place into a large covered container or several smaller ones for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.  
*You also have the option of storing these for longer in smaller jars for later use or to use as gifts.  To prime your jars, preheat your oven to 225F.  Put the jars only (I use 8 oz Kerr jars and it makes roughly 3 jars worth) on the baking racks in the oven for at least 20 minutes.  Then carefully remove from the oven.  Thoroughly clean the jar lids well in hot water and allow to fully dry.  Bring a large, deep pot of water to a boil.  Put apple butter into the jars within 1/4 inch from the top.  Clean the rim of each jar with a paper towel.  Tightly close each jar with a lid.  Carefully immerse each jar into the large pot of boiling water with tongs and boil for 10 minutes.  Voila, you now have jarred apple butter for future use or gifts.

Serves: 48
Nutritional Information (based on 1 Tbsp serving):
Calories: 26.5   Carbohydrate:  7 g   Fat:  0 g   Protein:  0 g   Cholesterol:  0 mg  Fiber:  1 g   Sugar:  6 g   Sodium:  0.8 mg

2 comments:

Eryka said...[Reply to comment]

Wow, can't wait to try this! My guys will really enjoy it. Thanks!

Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RD said...[Reply to comment]

@Eryka Great, Eryka! Hope you all enjoy it. I know that we have:)

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