Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chunky Crockpot Apple Butter

1.  Wash and core apples.  Leave skins on (added fiber; you won't even notice later).  Cut into a fine dice.  Place in a large crockpot to full and overflowing (just so the lid will fit on).

2.  Add water to about 2/3 mark on crockpot.

3.  Place lid on crockpot and heat on 'high'.  Allow to simmer all day.  Then --- reduce heat to 'low' and continue cooking all night.  Be sure there is enough liquid in the crockpot so that the apples don't burn overnight (you shouldn't have to do this, but just be aware).

4.  In the morning, turn crockpot to 'high' again.  Stir well.  Apples will be soft and dark.  If desired, take a potato masher or a wire whip and break up any large pieces (stirring with a wooden spoon is usually good enough).

5.  Sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener.  I love NuNaturals stevia (packets/powdered) mixed with a liquid sweetener like agave syrup or brown rice syrup.  You may use sugar to taste if you like.  Apple juice concentrate also makes a delicious sweetener for apple butter.

6.  Add your favorite 'pie' spices to taste.  I used about 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. cardamom, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. allspice, and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.  You may wish for more --- I kept on the conservative side.

7.  Continue cooking (with the lid off) until the apple butter is the consistency you desire.

8.  Serve, or can, or place in freezer containers as desired.

Most of all --- ENJOY!

*Pear butter is made the same way, although use a light touch with the spices so the delicate flavor of the pears shines through!

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