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Monday, October 19, 2009

Apple Butter and Apple Sauce

A trip to the Orchard is always fun--and we always seem to have more apples than we know what to do with!  This year it was a little cold, so we started off our trip with some hot chocolate and caramel apples.  The kids got to play in the corn, and had a great time!  We went to a chemistry show where Alexis got to be the, "lovely assistant,"  we pretended to be the 3 little pigs, we jumped on a huge air pillow, we slid down a very long slide--and we picked LOTS OF APPLES!

Thankfully. with the help from my PC peeler/corer-- we were able to quickly start making yummy apple treats.  Kyle joined in the fun, and made a caramel apple crisp-- while the kids helped me peel and chop apples for Apple Butter and Applesauce.

The Apple Butter, was a crock-pot version recipe, that I adapted.  I loved the day-long simmering method--because it was easy, and it made the house smell amazing.  The applesauce we made was a pot on the stove, version--but also turned out yummy.

The recipe for the Apple Butter--which is best served warm-- is:

  • 5 1/2 pounds apples - peeled, cored and finely chopped ( I used my apple peeler/corer and vidalia chopper)
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • dash or two of salt
Place apples in a slow cooker. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt; pour over apples and mix well. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 9-11 hours or until thickened and dark brown, stirring occasionally (stir more frequently as it thickens to prevent sticking). Uncover and cook on low 1 hour longer. Blend with hand mixer, or something similar. Spoon into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-in. headspace (important, one of my containers leaked out overnight). Cover and refrigerate.

I still warm up my apple butter before serving it, because I think it tastes best this way.

Yum Yum Yummy--I think I will go have a slice of bread with some apple butter now!

mmm...Okay, I am back-- Now, for the applesauce.  My DH had a sore throat, and stayed home from work, and was telling me how nothing sounded good to eat, on his sensitive throat.  I named some things that might sound nice on his throat--one of them being applesauce.  He said, oh yeah--that sounds good.  And, of course with all the apples, and no store-bought applesauce--it meant making it from scratch. :)  We like homemade from the heart around here--so, to work I went.  It was actually very easy.

I peeled, cored and chopped several apples and put them in a pot. (approx 3 lbs)  I covered them just enough with water, and turned on the heat.  I let them simmer until apples were tender-- about 15-20 minutes.  Squirt about 1 Tb of lemon juice on top, add a little sugar, depending on how sweet you like it-- and then blend in a blender til desired consistency.  I only added 1/4 cup of sugar, but some people would prefer to add much more.  Chill.

I served this for dinner with my Truffle Pot Roast and the kids just gobbled it up-- adding just a little cinnamon to the tops of their servings.

We still have about 1/2 peck of apples left--so, I will be making some apple pie, and some more applesauce this week!

*note: I made a 2nd batch of applesauce, added about 1/4 cup white sugar, cinnamon  and some freshly ground nutmeg, and a couple shakes of vanilla sugar!! I couldn't stop eating it!


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