And so it begins… with almost-no-work Apple Butter

I’ve been pouring over my folder of recipes for a week now looking for the “perfect” one to start off my blog.  I was sure that I wanted my first recipe to be something special that really shows who I am as a cook.

And then I realized something… maybe it doesn’t matter what the recipe is as much as it matters that I just start (my father’s advice on life might be sinking in).

Perhaps the first recipe holds less weight than I originally thought… That doesn’t mean, however, that it is any less delicious than the other recipes I plan to share in future posts.

Much to the contrary, this recipe is amazing, much more than the sum of its parts and, best of all, it’s extremely easy!!!

I first made this apple butter when I was transitioning to a diet that didn’t include a lot of added and refined sugar.  I wanted something to go on peanut butter toast or on my yogurt in the morning. I scoured the internet for a good recipe, but was discouraged by all the sugar added to a fruit that is already so sweet!  So, I ditched what I had found and made my own.  I think that this recipe puts store-bought, sugar added apple butter to shame!  Give it a shot and I think you’ll agree.

Not only does this apple butter recipe fulfill the above requirements, it has become my go-to sweet sauce that I use for everything from an oatmeal topping in the morning to a substitute for oil in baked goods to a decadent sauce on top of cake, ice cream and once, even cheesecake (the last three items are all occasional, decadent treats themselves–no need to add more sugar).  I keep it on hand at all times! It helps that it’s easy to prepare in big batches and it keeps in the fridge for about a month.

Apple Butter Perfected

Ingredients:

12 assorted organic apples (I use a mix of gala, mcintosh, granny smith, fuji and rome, but whatever combo you have will be fine)

1/4 cup water

splash of lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup spiced rum (optional)

1 cup raisins (optional)

Directions:

Thoroughly wash apples and chop roughly.  It’s easiest to cut off all four sides leaving a square core.  Then cut each side into four pieces.  Leave skin on.

Pile all the apples into your slow cooker (note that mine is filled to the brim). Add 1/4 cup water.

Set cooker to low and let the fruit cook for at least 12 hours. I start mine after dinner and let it cook overnight.

Add cinnamon and lemon juice and continue to cook for another 8 hours, stirring occasionally. If the mixture seems to “liquidy”, vent crock pot lid to allow for evaporation.

Using an immersion blender, blend cooked apples until very smooth.  With the peels this will take a couple of minutes, but it’s well worth the “work” in my opinion considering the added nutritious benefits you get from the skins.  Plus, you don’t have to take time to peel the apples!

*Be very careful to keep the blade fully immersed to prevent hot splattering!*

This step is optional (but strongly recommended) to further flavor your apple butter.  It does, however, make it slightly more of an indulgent treat.  I sometimes bottle part of my butter and then flavor the remaining portion.

Add raisins and rum to the puree and cook for 15-30 minutes (this cooks off the alcohol content, but leaves the flavor).

Let the sauce cool slightly before serving– a very difficult step when your entire house smells like baked apple pie!  Use to top baked goods like Saturday morning scones… or simply eat straight;).  Enjoy!

If you don’t plan on consuming the entire batch immediately, let it cool until it’s easy to handle and then ladle into jars and seal tightly.  Keep refrigerated for up to a month.  Can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

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3 Responses to “And so it begins… with almost-no-work Apple Butter”

  1. For many years I have preferred fruit toppings to syrup on pancakes. Your apple butter sounds perfect . Also, I’ve never used a blender to make apple sauce or butter and so always lose the skins. This sounds wonderful!

  2. This looks amazing!! Love this first recipe.

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