The end of summer is near and while for some it may be a sad thing, for me it is the beginning of my favorite time of year!! I “LOVE” the time between September 1 and January 1. FALL!!!!! Even though we don’t have much ”fall” weather here in Las Vegas (it does get a bit cooler though!), I still love what fall represents! For my family and I, it means a time for lots of fun craft sessions, get togethers galore and lots of wonderful food! The anticipation and planning bring such a huge feeling of excitement to me that it’s hard to control!
Cooking during this time of year is definitely on the very top of my list! I love the smells that are associated with fall cooking. Those smells that are right on top are cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin and of course apples! Nothing is more comforting than these smells combined and wafting through your home.
A friend of mine has an apple tree that went crazy last month. She asked who wanted to help her out and take some apples from her, as she had way too many to use. So being a good friend (lol) I offered to take some. (It was she who was doing me a “HUGE” favor!! ) They were beautiful green apples and she brought me over a huge bucketful! My daughter and granddaughter loved them and raved on the flavor and crispness of them all by themselves. I in turn had to find ways to use up some of them so they wouldn’t go bad. I love home-made applesauce and remember my mom making it quite often as we grew up (she still makes it just as YuMMY as I remember!). I also love Apple Crisps and made a big pan of it that everyone loved! Another way to use apples is in making Apple Butter. I absolutely “LOVE” Apple Butter but I had never made it from scratch before. So off I went in search of a perfect recipe. I searched through numerous ones before I finally found one that really struck my fancy. I liked this recipe because it is made in the crock pot and used both the peel and flesh of the apple. While it may take 2-3 days to make, I can assure you the outcome is definitely worth it! I made a few small changes though when I made mine. I did not peel my apples, just cut and cored them. Also, I like my Apple Butter with the spice flavors a bit stronger them some, so I added a bit more in the spice department. I also used a combination of both white sugar and brown sugar, so mine turned out a bit darker. I am sure you can play with the sugar and spices ratio to find what works best for you.
Here’s to the beginning to a “WONDERFUL & BLESSED” time of year!!
Homemade Apple Buttermakes 8 pints
2-4 tsp cinnamon
1/4-1/2 tsp allspice
1/2-1 tsp ground cloves
2-4 cups sugar
Peel, core and slice apples, dumping the slices and peels in the crock pot as you go. Stop prepping apples when the crock pot is full (just save the remaining apples for later).
Add 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp cloves and 2 cups of sugar. Mix well and put the crock pot on low for 10 hours. Feel free to stir when you walk by!
After 10 hours, peel, core, and slice more apples to fill the crock pot. Dump the new apple slices and peels into what’s already cooked down. Mix well. Cook another 10 hours on low.
Repeat the process of adding more apples, mix, set the crock pot for another 10 hours.
Taste test your apple butter and add more cinnamon, allspice, cloves and sugar to your taste. I usually add the same amount I did the first time, although sometimes I only add one more cup of sugar, depends on how sweet the apples are.
After it’s gone a good 30-40 hours, use an immersion blender to puree it. (You could probably put through food mill or blender too). Continue cooking until it’s the thickness that you want. If it’s not cooking down enough vent the lid a little. If it gets too thick, add some water or apple juice.
When it’s the consistency you want, can it using a *waterbath method.