Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Super Easy, "Healthier" Crockpot Apple Butter: A Fall Favorite!

A few weeks ago, the girls and I visited a local apple orchard to pick apples. We had been reading books about apples and looking at the apple's different parts, so I thought a nice conclusion to our little unit study would be a visit to a place where apples come from (and no, not the grocery store!).

We spent about an hour walking among rows and rows of apple trees. We were only allowed to pick from the Red Delicious trees, but there were more than enough apples for our bags to hold. The trees were so low that even my two-year-old could pick them herself although she preferred the ones on the ground.
The owner of the orchard instructed us in proper apple picking etiquette. Just so you know, you hold the branch down with one hand, grab the apple in the other, and twist the apple stem from the branch.
We ended up with a LOT of apples!

Unfortunately, none of us like Red Delicious apples; they’re just too mealy in my opinion. Since neither of the girls likes applesauce and I don’t like to waste food, I made apple butter. The weather has been slowly getting cooler, and apple butter is one of my favorite fall foods.

I have made apple butter a few times before using the crockpot, but I couldn’t find my easy-peasy recipe. Not to worry, though, my mom, the super chef, had just made a batch of apple butter using “healthier” ingredients AND the crockpot.

Here’s my mom's delicious, super easy, "healthier," no-peel crockpot apple butter recipe:

Crockpot Apple Butter

14 cups apples, cored & chopped (peel on)
1 ½ cups maple syrup

1 ½ cups brown sugar

1 cup raw sugar (turbinado)

2 T cinnamon
Process apples in the food processor until almost applesauce texture. Pour into a very large bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients; combine thoroughly.

Apple mixture prior to cooking
Pour mixture into crockpot set on highest setting. Let boil. Add water as needed. If cooking overnight, turn crockpot down to lowest setting. When apple butter has cooked down, you can use a hand-held blender for a smoother texture or leave as is. Can apple butter using a hot water bath. {For more information about hot water baths, click here.}

I cooked my apples for 4-5 hours on high. Then, before I went to bed, I turned the crockpot down to the lowest setting and let it cook all night and even on until after lunch the next day. The hardest part was coring and cutting up the apples.

We ate fresh, piping hot apple butter on homemade biscuits that morning. Delicious! You can’t get any more “fall” than homemade apple butter.

Thanks, Mom, for the great recipe!

Do you have a favorite fall recipe?


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1 comment:

  1. I'm so jealous of your apple picking. Living in a tropical climate, there is no apple picking for us. We do get to pick citrus and strawberries in the spring but it's not the same. I love apple butter and love that is can be done in the crock pot. Thanks for sharing with Mixing Bowl Party!