Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Apples Part 2 - Apple Butter

The question I always get when I offer someone a fruit butter is, "It doesn't *really* have butter in it, right?"

Chuckling, I assure them that no, there is no butter--it's all fruity goodness.  Fruit butters are a great way to use-up extra fruit and a fantastic spread for any of your morning breakfast breads (bagels, toast, you name it...).  I've even heard of butters used in pie and quick bread recipes, though I've never tried them.

Making Apple Butter is as easy as easy can be if you have a slow cooker.  You simply make applesauce, add it to a pressure cooker, toss-in some spices (I like cinnamon and nutmeg), a healthy dose of sugar, and then let it go on the lowest setting (usually "warm") overnight or all day.  Stir once in awhile, scraping down the sides.

The result will be a thick, spreadable brown paste--almost as thick as tomato paste.  You should be able to drag a spoon or spatula through the butter and it will leave the bottom of the pot exposed.

To preserve, refrigerate in a very clean container for up to two months (as long as no "fuzz" grows), freeze, or can it, processing half-pint jars in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

Did I mention that it tastes great when spread on a bagel with cream cheese??

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