4 apple trees. F.O.U.R. in our yard = pretty darn awesome
These trees mean an
awful awesome lot of apples!!
What’s a girl to do with so many apples? Well, first she enlists her tall friends to help her pick them off the tree. Then she loads up 2 Tupperware containers and a diaper box full of apples. Next she googles apple butter and apple sauce + crockpot 🙂
For the apple sauce, I dumped unpeeled apples (approx 6 c. fill the crock pot), 1/4-1/2 c. brown sugar, Tbsp cinnamon, juice of one lemon, nutmeg & cloves to taste, and approx 2 c. of water in the crock pot. Stir. I cooked this mixture for probable 5 ish hours on low, stirring occasionally. I then used an immersion blender to “create” the sauce 🙂 At this point, I added water as needed to make it the right consistency.
The texture kind of sucked b/c I used unpeeled apples. So I decided to use a mesh strainer like this one to strain out the pulp/skin. I poured the apple sauce into the mesh strainer and used a spatula to push the sauce through the strainer leaving the pulp behind. I had to clean the strainer several times (that is, do several batches). The consistency ended up being kind of like baby apple sauce, which is awesome for us considering Pax-man is going to be eating most of it! If you want it for adults, you might add in more sugar to taste at the end!
What I learned through out this process is that MANY HOURS of work leads to yummy yummy results.
For my first batch of apple butter I PEALED all of apples before sticking them in the crock pot. This was a good idea b/c skins suck in apple butter 🙂 but it was an awful idea b/c it was SO time consuming to peel all of those apples. Since they are home grown and organic, they are a little smaller and not quite as uniform and pretty as your traditional store bought apples. The peeling then becomes a bit more work!
BUT, it was SO worth it! The apple butter was amazing.
I essentially peeled the apples, diced them, dumped them into a crock pot on low with 1 c. white sugar, 1 c. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp cloves. Then I let it go for approximately 6-9 hrs (stirring occasionally). At the end, I added in enough water (little by little) so I could use my immersion blender to puree the mix while still keeping it butter-esk.
Rich, smooth, and decadent. Try this.
For the second batch of apple butter, I used the recipe for apple sauce and then after I had the sauce added in the extra sugar/spices and let it cook down for another 4-5 hrs. You really can’t screw this stuff up. I actually accidentally forgot to get the second batch out before going to bed… then I woke up at 4:30am the next morning in a complete PANIC. I was freaked I had burned it. Nope, it was thick and amazing and totally ready to be jarred 🙂
I didn’t use a traditional canning method~ so these are just “freezer jams” ehm, butters/sauces!
Other than the peeling (or straining) ~ these are such easy recipes and they have saved me SO MUCH MONEY! 🙂
Definitely doing this again next year. XOX