Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Check me out, it is FALL and I rock

Apples, before I brutally slaughtered them into
a delicious dessert.
Have you ever heard of apple butter?  I sure hadn't.  Prior to the Beans destroying all that is good about dessert by developing allergies to the worlds greatest food combo -- peanut butter and chocolate -- I had no reason to branch out.  Then he ruined everything and I had all but given up on anything good, sweet and fattening.  Oddly enough I wasn't loosing any weight, a fact I can't explain and which is entirely off topic ...

But, then came apple butter.

Its like applesauce, but not at all good for you and way creamier.

My parents wound up buying a place with a ton of apple trees, so we needed to use them ... my kitchen (and waistline) will never be the same.

In the interest of complete transparency -- it is time consuming and messy as heck, but it is easy.  Slap on a good podcast, movie, or some music and go to town!

You can search Pintercrack for much more thorough or serious sounding recipes.  Or you can hang out here.
Me picking the apples.
I should have Linda Hamilton Terminator arms by now.
I started by mixing cheap wine and Sprite.  No, seriously.  It doesn't actually go into the apple butter, but I find that it makes the process more enjoyable.  Why mix?  Because I will be singing show tunes before the apples are even halfway done if I drink the cheap wine straight.  I am not much of a sipper, more of a gulper.

So I mixed my Mommy Juice, snapped my iPod in because I could hear Handy (with his whiny assed tools) Manny in the background still.  And got to work.

My apples are small, and the skin is really thin so I don't peal them.  If you are getting store bought apples you may need to peel them and won't need as many because they are probably bigger.  Don't get horribly hung up on what kind of apples to use because by the time you are done cooking them with all the spices they will all be delicious.  Just know that if you want tang, pick a tangier apple, tart or sweet same deal.

For this round of apple butter I am using ... well, I am not entirely sure what kind of apples they are.  Here is a visual of the four main "types" but I think one and four may be the same kind:

I have googled them and come up with a couple different names, but I would love to hear what you think they are.

Now to the actual instructions.  Brace yourself for my thorough, foodie level instruction giving skillz:

Step one: Wash the bird shit and bug shit off.  Seriously, why they gotta poo on my food?

Step Two: Core and slice the muthahs.  And since my apple core-er sucks, I do this with a knife.

*insert possible brief intermission for ER visit here*

Step Three: Re-fill your drink, undoubtedly it is time.  Then toss the slices of apples into your food processor.  Process until they are in small chunks, smaller they are the faster they cook.

Step Four: Dump the chunky, wet apple matter into the CrockPot.

Blurry pictures happen when someone's hands are slippery.

Step Five: Spices.  Don't ask me to measure, I don't really do that and I am already a full drink in (my cup is 32 oz) by this point so my already low standards are dipping.  I eyeball it.  If I had to guess, for a full pot I use at least a full cup of brown sugar and then coat the top of the apples with cinnamon and allspice (so like 2 to 3 teaspoons each).  Here, I offer pictures to those of you who know what you are doing ...

It is a lot more spices than I have ever seen in another recipe, but to be honest I have never heard anyone complain LOL

Step Six: Set your Crock Pot on long and low.  For mine this is the 8 hour setting.  I try to do this as early in the morning as possible because you really do want the apples cooking for 8 to ten hours.  It makes for creamier apple butter in the end.

Step Seven: Try to not eat it through out the day and feel very Martha Stewart-ey because your house smells like fall and you seem to know what you are doing.  Stir occasionally, but really, you don't want to do much.

Step Eight: When the apples are plenty squishy, start shoveling them into a blender, food processor, or be uber fancy and have an immersion blender.  I know it is a huge surprise, but I am not uber fancy and lack an immersion blender.  I blend this bad boy until it gets creamy.

Once we have blended the snot out of the apples, we are technically done.  You can eat it straight, mix it in something, jar it, or even ice cube it like this:

I do that because then the Meatball can drop an apple cube in his oatmeal and it both flavors AND cools it.

I know, you are in awe of my general bad ass glory here, aren't you?

Anyway, it does freeze well, so jar it up and store it for later so you can have apple butter year round.  One full CrockPot made 6 full pint jars.

In a few weeks I will be cute-i-fying the jars somehow in order to give them away, so I will share that later.


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