A goal for the new year has been to waste less food.
It never fails- I fill my grocery cart with fresh produce and good intentions, only to have something go bad before we’ve gotten around to eating it. A big bowl of beautiful organic apples fit that description recently. I knew there was little chance of us devouring 7 apples within the 2 days they probably had left. I’m not a big apple pie fan, and I knew my apple muffin recipe wouldn’t use them up. I spied a jar of peach butter on our bread box and the light went on: apple butter.
Thank you, Pinterest, for being my go-to recipe search location. With a few stokes of the keyboard, I had a couple of straightforward apple butter recipes (using the crockpot!). I took notes from a couple that looked yummy and just went for it. The best part is that I had all of the ingredients on hand. (Hi, John!)
Peeling and slicing up the apples was the only work I had to do! I poured the sliced apples into the crock (which I’d coated with non-stick spray).
Next, I sprinkled brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice over the apples. As a last minute addition, I squeezed half of a lemon over everything. And then I switched the crockpot on low and let it cook- the recipe called for 10 hours. I gave the apples a stir before I went to bed, but generally left it alone overnight.
In the morning, the house smelled like apple pie. The apples had softened and cooked down significantly. I stirred them in their cinnamon-y juices, added a little vanilla, and let the apples cook on low for another hour (no lid). I used my hand-blender to puree the apples into deliciousness. Yum!
I snuck a taste of the apple butter before scooping it into a few jars. It wasn’t far off from a homemade applesauce, but the flavors are more condensed and intense. It will be the perfect topping for buttered toast, on pancakes or waffles- or on a spoon. A jar of homemade apple butter would make a sweet little housewarming or hostess gift!
What’s your favorite way to use up fresh produce that’s nearing its end? Share with me!
Crockpot Apple Butter (adapted from Bargain Briana)
- 3 lbs apples
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- Juice of half of a small lemon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Coat your crockpot with nonstick spray. Peel and slice the apples. Place them in the crockpot. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and lemon juice. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and stir in the vanilla. Cook uncovered for another hour. Using an emulsifier, puree the apples into delicious butter. Serve with toast or waffles or a spoon- yum!
Hungry for more? There’s a collection of recipes on the FOOD BLISS link above!
One year ago: I discovered my favorite restaurant in town!