Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday with Apple Butter

September 21st, 2011 / Comments 0

Apple tree c egbert Celebrate Johnny Appleseeds Birthday with Apple ButterOn September 26th, I’ll be celebrating John Chapman’s birthday with a bowl of apple sauce, a smear of apple jelly and a dollop of apple butter on toast. He was a barefoot itinerant arborist who wore a tin pot instead of a hat. I met this gentle man between the covers of a Golden Book when I was six, you probably know him as Johnny Appleseed.

When the sweet aroma of apples cooking to make applesauce and jelly as inspiration and a chance meeting with an overloaded apple tree,  Charles gathered loads of apples. Here’s how I made a batch of apple butter:

Apple Butter

I washed the apples and Charles disengaged the peeling blade on our old fashioned, hand powered, red enamel apple peeler, and cored and sliced the apples. I filled a four-cup microwave safe bowl with apples, covered it, zapped the apples in the microwave for five minutes and put the partially cooked apples into a slow cooker set to cook on low for ten hours. We continued coring and zapping apples. When the slow cooker was filled to the brim, I set it to cook on low for eight hours, put the lid on and went to bed. In the morning, I removed the lid, added a cup and a half of granulated sugar, one and a half teaspoons of ground cinnamon, half a teaspoon of ground cloves and a teaspoon of ground ginger and used an immersion blender to puree the fragrant, red-brown apple butter. I cooked the uncovered apple butter for another hour to thicken it. We processed the apple butter according the instructions that came with the jars.

Apple butter is the most inexact recipe I can think of, the quantity of apples depends on the size of your cooking vessel, the quantity of sugar and spice depends on your palate and the length of cooking time depends on how you define “thick enough”. You can make apple butter by roasting, prepared apples in a covered ovenproof container at 225º ‘until it is thick enough’.

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Apple Butter in Slow Cooker
Recipe type: Preserves
Author: Carol Egbert www.carolegbert.com
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 8 hours
Total time: 8 hours 20 mins
Serves: 1 1/2 pints
Apples, cooked slowly, flavored with spices makes a thick spread to enjoy on toast or as the star of a tart or thumbprint cookie.
  • 4 cups apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Zap apples, on high power, in microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Put partially cooked apples into slow cooker set at low.
  3. Cook for 8 hours.
  4. Add sugar and spices, puree mixture with immersion blender.
  5. Cook, uncovered, in slow cooker set on high, for 1 hour.
  6. Store in fridge.

This recipe can be doubled, depending on the size of your slow cooker.Cooking time will vary depending on the moisture content of the apples.

Apple butter can be made in the oven instead of a slow cooker. Put prepared apples, in a covered, oven-proof container and roast in a 225º oven. Check while roasting to make sure apples don’t scorch.

Adjust amount of sugar and spices to taste of apples.


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