To begin, I am aware that I have literally disappeared for months. I have tried twice to write a piece that curates my time away; however, I was never happy with the outcome. These posts are currently sitting in my organized file incomplete. Instead of discussing an intensely personal journey, I think I will only say this: the last few months have been the closing of a chapter for me in the best kind of way. I am very excited about my new chapter and moving forward as 2017 has been a challenging year for me. If I am feeling inspired, I will write a post documenting some of the lessons and ends I have tied. As of right now, I am still processing everything and am ready to move forward. Furthermore, I have absolutely NO INTENTION to ever leave the blog for that long again! To my lovely readers, I apologize; however, I do not regret my time away.
Autumn 2017 has been a warm one in Ontario! It has been warmer than our summer. While I love autumn and all the knits, colours and cozies, I am always a little sad to see our local farmer’s market up the street have the final celebration for the year. Last Tuesday, my partner and I decided to purchase a bushel of apples for $15. I would be lying if I said that I did not turn to him in disbelief and ask “umm, there are only two of us … can we handle these many apples without going bananas!?” … see what I did there!? LOL OKAY, I WILL STOP! He, of course, said, “Well, you know how to make everything edible. Therefore, I will delegate that task to you”. I guess it is true!? Let me tell you, these apples are sweet, tasty, juicy and just amazing with their odd shapes and little markings. But what the heck am I supposed to do with a million apples!?
The first thing that came to mind for me is delicious, sweet and smooth apple butter! However, I wanted to make this apple butter without much work nor the use of my oven/ stove because I also wanted to make apple chips. I had read in my travels on the interweb that you can make apple butter using the slow cooker. I was game!
This apple butter is not super sweet. It highlights the flavour of the apples rather than sugar. The long cooking time means that the apple flavour intensifies and creates a beautiful caramel texture that is significantly different from applesauce/ puree.
I feel that if put into cute little mason jars with tags, this recipe would make a lovely (and inexpensive) table favour for your Thanksgiving celebration with an appearance of hard work and time. Not to worry, I will not let them know you dumped a bunch of deliciousness into a crockpot and called it a weekend!
Wishing my Canadian readers a very happy and bountiful Thanksgiving weekend!
Caramelly Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Delicious as an autumn fruit dip or spread on toast as well as a natural sweetener in baked goods! I have also used it in a balsamic vinaigrette recipe that called for apple puree!
I do not peel the apples; however, if you want a lighter apple butter, peel them.
Core and chop the apples into small bite-sized pieces. Generally, I cut the apple in half then cut each half into 12 pieces (4 x 3).
Place apple pieces into the slow cooker with the sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and apple cider vinegar.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and turn it on “high” for 10-12 hours. I like to do this before bed because you do not need to do anything during this 10-12 hours.
After 10-12 hours, the apples should have broken down and appear to be a lovely brown colour (it may look a bit lighter if you peeled your apples). Give the apples a stir using a wooden spoon then switch your slow cooker to low.
Leave the apples to cook with the lid on low for about 3 hours.
After 3 hours, transfer the contents of the slow cooker to a blender using a rubber spatula and blend. Due to the hot temperature of the apples, I open the pouring spout of my blender. Be careful as sometimes blending hot content can cause cracks in your blender! I had a glass blender break while blending hot soup when I was younger!
Place the pureed apple back into the slow cooker and cook on low with the lid off for about 7-9 hours. Most of the liquid should be removed, and you should be left with a tasty and sweet apple butter that is smooth and different from applesauce.
Let apple butter cool than store it in a glass container in the fridge. I am sure you can freeze the apple butter as well if you wanted to or if you have a canning kit, store it in a mason jar.