When the air begins feeling crisp and the sound of crunching leaves enters through my kitchen window, all this girl wants to do is stay inside and bake the day away.
Fall always brings new and delicious recipes to my expansive recipe box. Is it really a recipe “box”? Well not a box, per say. More specifically a giant worn out 5-inch Binder. One I put together when I was first married, full of hopes and aspirations of cooking every single meal from scratch and having it on the table for my hard working man, every. single. night.
Fast forward 13 years,….okay so I fell off the wagon a few (or a million) times. But my recipe binder didn’t suffer. I may not serve a home-cooked meal every night of the week but when I do, you better believe it’s gonna be damn delicious! And every recipe I’ve ever made goes into my trusty Binder.
So, back to Fall baking. Every Fall I look for recipes that are “All-Purpose” or “Multi-Purpose”. I love coking my own Condiments and using them on everything from breakfast to dinner. So meet Apple Butter! Sweet and Spicy. My two culinary Lovers.
For this Apple Butter recipe, I wanted a deep roasted flavor to come through with the apples but without having to actually roast them first. If you bake a lot you know Baking Soda gives a browning effect or more technically the Maillard reaction. So I faked the roasted flavor by adding Baking Soda to all the ingredients. It worked beautifully. And more importantly, effortlessly.
And what goes better with apples than Caramel? I cooked my apples on high for 8 hours to create a caramel flavor with Brown Sugar, just 2 tablespoons of Butter and Orange Juice, which also added a little brightness to the recipe.
Finally, the spices. Ground Nutmeg, Clove and Cinnamon. Nuth’n too fancy. Easy. But if you really want to knock the pants off of whoever you’re making this for, you can add 1/2 tsp of Cayenne. (woo-hoo!)
Now I don’t find myself wielding my Crock Pot a lot in the kitchen. On occasion I will find a fantastic soup recipe that calls for using the Crock Pot, but for the most part I’m a Dutch Oven girl all the way! However, to develop that gorgeous, deep roasted flavor in the apples, I decided I din’t care to stand over a hot stove stirring until the cows came home. So the slow cooking method it is!
Now, don’t you decide to be naughty and impatient and try to get away with cooking these for less than 8 hours. These beg for that full 8 hours in order to reach their maximum peak of perfection. Trust me. I checked every hour and those apples demand the full 8 hours. Can you hear my right eye twitching? 8 hours!!!
Here is what the apples look like after 2 hours….
And 8 hours later….
See. I told ya! You “butter” believe it! Caramelized Roasted Spicy Apples. Oh. Em. Gee.
Next, I just whizzed them in the Blender until smooth and silky. Viola! Apple Butter Mission Complete.
Now, you can pour these into jars for canning or do what I do and pour into those nice handy plastic hinged lid containers that hold 3 cups. Perfection.
I’d love to tell you how long you can safely keep this in the fridge but honestly, food (especially yummy, scrumptious type food) does not last long in my house. My three kiddos see to it that the word “left-over” only be used for the likes of Vegetables and anything involving Tofu.
I can tell you that this recipe makes approximately 2 Cups of Apple Butter and is the yummiest thing to grace my families waffles.
Mmmmmmm!!!!! I hope you enjoy this recipe and pass it along to all your Sweet and Spicy loving friends and family! 🙂