Thursday, October 24, 2013

Crockpot Caramel Apple Butter

I told you all the other day on Instagram that I had a story to tell.

Well, I'm about to tell it.

It all begins on the day that I looked out the window and saw that almost all of the apples on our two little apple trees were so ripe that they had fallen to the ground, neglected by their masters, trampled on by thoughtless deer, and gnawed at by wild vermin.

Since this also coincidentally happened to be the day that I was feeling especially hungry for apple butter, I decided that I must take action. 

I marched outside and began picking up the apples. There were plenty on the ground that had just fallen off. If they were lucky enough to be big, firm, and wormless, they found their way into my basket.

So along I went, picking up apples, when suddenly I realized that the apple in my hand had a big fat slug on it. I gasped in surprise. I recoiled in repulsion. I decided that something had to be done.

So, I picked up a leaf from the ground with the intention of removing the slug with said leaf.

I looked down into my hand and saw that I was holding a poison ivy leaf.

My instincts for this next horrible surprise were not so quick. I froze. After about 23 minutes of staring at the leaf in my hand I threw it on the ground and ran screaming into the house.

There's still no sign of any poison ivy wreaking havoc on my unwitting fingers, but I have been haunted by phantom itches on my entire body since the incident. Even now my fingers seem to be tingling and my allergy ridden eyes seem suspiciously itchier than usual.

I really shouldn't be so worried though. Only after hours of thorough scrubbing of my hands and my apples did I commence operation apple butter.

When I first made this apple butter, it was just for kicks. I had never had any especially outstanding apple butter before. I just thought it sounded kind of fun. But after I tasted my creation, I knew that I would be making apple butter for all the rest of my days.

This stuff is so awesome, people. It's so caramely and dark and rich and smooth. I don't think I'll ever eat jelly again. Apple butter toast will be my constant companion for the rest of my days.

Plus, it's so easy. You just throw in your apples and caramel in the crockpot at night like this:

And when you wake up in the morning you will be greeted by this:

Okay, so that looks kind of like a mess, but after a little pureeing with an immersion blender, you'll thank me for it.

Crockpot Caramel Apple Butter

1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
3 1/2 pounds peeled and sliced apples (5 1/2 pounds before I peeled and sliced them, probably about 7 or 8 cups of chopped apples)
2 teaspoons vanilla 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
In a small saucepan on the stove, combine the white sugar and corn syrup. Cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally until a dark reddish amber color. Remove from heat and carefully add the butter (it will bubble up) and stir until smooth, returning to heat if necessary. 
Combine the apples, vanilla, cinnamon, and dark brown sugar in the crockpot. Pour the caramel in and toss to coat. Cook on low for about 9-10 hours or until dark brown and mushy. 
Use a potato masher, immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender to puree until smooth. Keep in jars in the refrigerator. Makes about 3 jars. I'm going to try freezing mine, so I'll let you know how that works too.

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  1. How many ounces are the 3 jars?

  2. Those look like wide mouth half pint jars to me, so....however many ounces is in a half pint!

  3. (Also, I'm totally making this tonight)