Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Apple recipes...Mmmm.

As requested, here are a few yummy apple recipes. :)

Apple Butter (pic above)

5-1/2 pounds apples, peeled and sliced/chopped (= about 15-18 med. sized apples)
2 cups sugar* (I like to use maple syrup or honey)
1/4 - 1/2 cup apple cider (optional...helps break it down faster)
2-3 tsp cinnamon, or 3 whole cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp ground allspice or nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Place apples in a slow cooker. Add all of the ingredients and mix well. Put on lid and cook on high for 1 hour (stir a few times). Reduce the heat to low. Cover again and cook on low for 9-12 hours - or until it is thick and dark brown. Stir occasionally. Uncover and cook for one more hour. Remove cinnamon if you used whole sticks. If you like a smoother apple butter, you can run it through a food mill or use a stick blender. You can process for canning, freeze, or refrigerate and eat within a few weeks.

*Many ab recipes call for up to 4 cups of sugar. I don't like to use that much...I prefer the intense apple sweetness...using sweet apple varieties and honey or maple syrup makes a richer flavor. You can also use 3-4 cups of white sugar for a sweeter traditional apple butter.

Boiled Cider (or Cider "syrup")

1 gallon fresh unpasteurized apple cider

Pour cider into a stainless steel pot, bring to a low boil - don't cover. Gently boil (don't scald/burn!) and let boil for several hours until reduced. The liquid reduction is about 7:1.

I like to start with a gallon and get a little more than a pint after reduction.

It is delicious - super intense apple flavor with a smoky sweetness. Tastes great on oatmeal, yogurt, drizzled over fresh apple cake...it is SO good.

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