Cinnamon Spice Apple Butter

Posted on: Thursday, October 19, 2017

Surrounded by apple orchards in the Quiet Corner of CT, I love putting fun spins on the abundance of my favorite fruit in the fall. While Honey Crisps are simply incredible as is, and Granny Smith are tasty with a piece of sharp cheddar or touch of peanut butter, I often find myself with a big bushel of apples and not enough time to eat them fresh.
Applesauce is a great go-to, but if you’re looking for something a little more decadent and sugary, I recommend trying apple butter. While the preparation is similar to applesauce, apple butter is cooked longer, with less liquid and more sugar for caramelizing. The finished product is a thicker, glossier spread with a more concentrated flavor and darker color. Forget fall-scented candles, get this going in the morning and your house will be wafting with the sweet, enticing aroma all day.
You can make the apple butter by roasting the apples in the oven or slowly cooking them atop the stove, but I found that the slow cooker method created the richest, most concentrated results. After cooling and jarring the apple butter, I enjoyed it the next morning slathered on toast with a smear of rich ricotta and sprinkle of cinnamon.   
Cinnamon Spice Apple Butter

5 lbs apples (about 15 medium-sized), cored and peeled
2/3 cups brown sugar
2/3 c granulated sugar
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t clove
1/2 t salt
1 T vanilla extract
1 T fresh lemon juice

Chop the apples and place them into your slow cooker. Sprinkle the apples with the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and salt, and stir until incorporated. Cover the slow cooker and bake on low for 8 hours. At hour 8, add the vanilla extract and lemon juice, stir, and cook for 1 more hour. Next, transfer the apple mixture to a blender (or food processor) and blend until smooth. Enjoy warm right away, or store in mason jars in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Apple butter is so versatile - warmed and topped over butter pecan ice cream, chilled and drizzled atop pumpkin pancakes, spooned over rosemary roasted pork, slathered on a ham and brie panini - I’ve been adding it to everything!

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