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Slow Cooker Apple Butter

20 Sep

I remember, as a little girl, having apple butter at my maternal grandparent’s house as a special snack.  Sometimes, my grandpa would use a delicate paring knife to remove the skin from the apple in one long strip while we were snacking on apples, and  I thought that was the most impressive thing ever in the history of the time – and still think it’s pretty darn cool.  I sure can’t seem to manage it.  I’ve never been much for sweetness, but I really loved that apple butter, and decided to create some of my own.

This apple butter is jam-packed with flavor and almost entirely hands off.  I cooked mine for the maximum times listed below, mostly because it’s just how the timing of when I started and was home worked out.  At the end of the day, I think it contributed to both the flavor and the look of the dish.  As you can see from the picture, this is deeply, deeply caramelized.  It also has the concentrated flavor of something that is cooked a good long time.

I’ve been unable to keep myself from having a midnight snack of this on some toast every night since I’ve made it.  I particularly enjoy it on whole wheat toast with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt – it really brings out the sweetness and depth of flavor of the apples and sets off the cloves and cinnamon beautifully.  For me, it was doubly special thanks to the nostalgia factor, and reminded me how lucky I am to have such wonderful grandparents.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

One half dozen apples, peeled, cored, and very finely chopped

1/4 cup honey (local is best!)

1 stick cinnamon, broken in half

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. or about half a dozen whole cloves

Large pinch salt

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.  Stir with a whisk.  Reduce heat to low and recover.

Cook on low at least 12 but up to 32 hours on low, stirring rarely with a whisk.

Raise heat to high and remove cover.  Cook 4-6 hours, whisking vigorously every half hour or so.  Pour into canning jar and can if desired.

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