However, there is a small downside - all the apples. I think I ended up with about 10 pounds. That's a lot of freakin apples. So, since I knew I wasn't going to eat them straight up for the next 10 years, I decided to make apple butter. If you've never had apple butter, you're missing out. Basically, it's super concentrated apple sauce that you can spread on french toast, bread, rice cakes, a spoon, etc. It's so easy to make I almost feel silly posting a recipe about it - the general premise is cook the ever loving crap out of some apples and spices. Puree. Shove in face.
I sent a jar of this to Shashi at Runnin Srilankan for this month's Leftovers Club. She sent me some really tasty cookies that have beets in them. Obviously, since they have a vegetable in them, that makes them a health food. Put some apple butter on top and it's basically a complete meal. If you join the leftovers club, you get food treats from your new internet friends in the mail once a month. It's awesome and you should definitely sign up.
Crock Pot Apple Butter:
Enough apples to fill your crock pot, peeled and sliced (I used about 20)
1 Cup Sugar (there are many recipes that call for substantially more sugar. Since I don't love overly sweet things, I tend towards the low side, but if you have a sweet tooth, use more. It's just a matter of personal preference)
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
The hardest part of this is peeling and cutting the apples. Don't worry too much about the cutting part, you're just going to cook them until the fall apart anyways, but do try hard to peel them very carefully; it really helps with the texture.
Once you've finished peeling and cutting, dump everything into the crock pot and turn it on high. If you're home, check on it periodically and give it a stir, but if you leave it while you're at work it will still be fine.
After it starts to really fall apart (7 hours or so), prop the lid open so that some of the moisture can evaporate. Once it's a little thicker (about another 2 hours), take the lid off, turn the crock pot off, and let it sit. Please note that this is just what my particular crock pot did - yours might be completely different.
When it's a bit cooler, blend with an immersion blender. If you don't have one, you can use a regular blender, just do small batches and be extremely careful. It's really hot.
Put into jars. If you're planning to eat it all within the next couple of weeks, there's no need to boil the jars to seal them, it will stay fresh. However, if you'd like to keep it around for months, feel free to actually can it (which I didn't do because putting glass into boiling water scares the crap out of me).
This goes really well on all kinds of treats. I made some pumpkin cream cheese bread the other day and put this on top. Then, the fall gods came and asked me to join them as their leader.
Check out what my friends made!!