Slow cooked apple butter

I actually thought I’d posted this recipe already, but I must have posted it on a private loop somewhere.

As promised on Twitter: the recipe I’ve been following for slow-cooked apple butter. It’s a joy to make because it fills the house with its heady fragrance for hours and hours and hours.  Easy, too, aside from the time-consuming angle of peeling and cutting up the apples.  I found the recipe on the Internet somewhere, but can’t find the original anymore, and the printout is gone.  I’ve tweaked it a bit anyway, as you must feel free to do, of course. 

makes approximately 6 cups

About 5-6 pounds apples (I like organic Delicious for the sweetness, but have also used Granny Smith)
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Crushed tops of 7-8 cloves
1/3 vanilla bean, scraped
Dash kosher salt
Juice of half lemon
6 oz (half a bottle) hard apple cider if you have it, or apple juice if not.

Peel, core and slice apples and put them in the crock pot.  Stir in other ingredients, pouring the cider over the top.  Let cook on low setting for 24 hours, stirring now and then to make sure the spices permeate the whole stew. 

For a smooth texture, purree the mixture in a blender; for chunky, simply use a ricer or potato masher.  You can freeze it or process in a water bath as per usual instructions.

It’s one of my favorite things this winter.  What is one of yours? What have you been cooking a lot of?

flickr creative commons photo by beta karel

February 4, 2009

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