quarta-feira, 15 de setembro de 2010
Homemade Slow Cooker Sweet Apple Butter
2.5kg of sweet apples - peeled, cored and shredded or chopped (about 16 medium sized apples)
200 g of white sugar (about 1 cup)
200 g of brown sugar (about 1 cup) - add more of each sugar if recipe is not sweet enough – this will depend on the sweetness of the apples
3 teaspoons of freshly ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of allspice
a pinch or 2 of salt
NOTE: If you prefer, rather than shredding or chopping the apples, you can use a food process to slice them, as they will be pureed later anyway. If you choose to shred them, you may not have to puree them if you are happy with the consistency. Just use a whisk to make them creamy before removing apple butter from the slow cooker. Also, you can leave the skin on the apples if you choose, but be sure that you puree them in the last step so they blend in well. This will add a darker color to the apple butter.
While preparing the ingredients, start the slow cooker and allow it to heat up to high with the lid on.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, blend the white and brown sugar, the cinnamon, the cloves, the allspice and the salt together well. Put the prepared into the slow cooker and pour the sugar and spice mixture over them. Be sure to mix everything together very well.
With the lid on the slow cooker, cook the recipe on high heat for about 11 hours. You will need to remove the lid and stir the ingredients from time to time. As it cooks, the apple butter will darken and start to get nice and thick.
After 11 hours or so, remove the cover from the slow cooker and stir the apple butter again. This time, leave the lid off, reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook for another hour to an hour and a half.
At this point you can make a decision about the texture and consistency of the apple butter. If you peeled and shredded the apples and are satisfied with the thickness, just stir them with a whisk and you are all done with it. If not, you will want puree it in a blender.
Once cooking is complete, you can put the slow cooker apple butter in containers for refrigerating, freezing or canning. Of course, you will want to sample some of it very soon. Try it on toast, waffles or pancakes, add it to pies, cakes and other recipes, ham sandwiches or even cottage cheese or yogurt.