Saturday, April 20, 2013

Apple Butter

I have to confess I'm a little scared to leave my crockpot on all day while I go to work. Leaving it on on weekends and days off while I'm in and out running errands all day is fine, but leaving it on while I'm at work squicks me out a little. I know it's irrational. I know that my crockpot won't suddenly, after over 4 years of reliable use, won't all of a sudden blow up on me... But what if it does?

This apple butter is my first experiment with putting something in my crockpot while I was away at work. Do you think I could concentrate at work? Of course not. Instead of brilliant legal thoughts, my imagination went wild with thoughts of burned apples (at best) and charred house remains (at worst). 

Needless to say, my house was still standing when I got home, the apples were cooking nicely, and it smelled like I had spent all day making apple pies. It was wonderful.

Now if only I could convince myself that this all-day-while-I'm-at-work success wasn't a fluke and I should try it again.

Crockpot Apple Butter
From My Baking Addiction, adapted
Makes about 4 pints

6 1/2 lbs tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2/3 - 1 cup white sugar (depending on how sour your apples are)
2/3 - 1 cup brown sugar (depending on how sour your apples are)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP vanilla extract

Place the apples in the crockpot. Add the sugars, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Stir to combine.

Cook on low for about 10 hours, stirring very occasionally (I stirred once after it cooked for about 9 hrs), until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.

Uncover, stir in the vanilla, and cook for about 2 hrs. It'll probably look like the apples are sort of breaking down and liquefying, but that's ok. Cooking uncovered will allow some of the excess liquid to evaporate.

Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Put in sterile containers and store in the fridge or freezer.