Gluten Free Friday – Homemade Apple Butter – Part 2

Welcome back, and Happy Gluten Free Friday!!

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Now that we are all experts in making our own applesauce (See part 1 here), it’s time to make our apple butter!  Yahoo!  And, we’re going to do it in a crock pot!  Double Yahoo! This process is very simple, but be prepared for a looooong cooking time.  If you are patient though, this is what you could be eating for breakfast tomorrow…

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apple butter on toast 2

(on your fav GF bread of course!!) Helllloooooo Yummyness!!

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Let’s get this party started…

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Ingredients: (based on the size of my personal crockpot)

Non-ingredient items needed:

  • Crockpot
  • Towel
  • chopsticks, or other similarly shaped item
  • immersion blender (optional)
  • plate
  • a ton of time

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This recipe is very customizable.  Most of the recipes I saw called for cloves either in place of or in addition to the allspice.  I didn’t have any on hand so I omitted it and it tastes fine.  Some people add sugar, but my applesauce was so naturally sweet I didn’t need any.  You can adjust the spices to taste, or to the size of your crockpot.

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First things first….find a small person (preferably in an oversized shirt) to help you out.  Put your applesauce into a large bowl, and have your mini-helper add in the spices.

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measure stuff 2

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Once thoroughly mixed and taste approved, teach your mini-helper how to use an immersion blender.  Supervise closely to prevent any additions of fingers or hair.  Or new wall decorations, splat! (This step is optional, and will just get rid of any large lumps in the applesauce)

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blend stuff 2

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Now, fill your crockpot with as much applesauce as you can.  Set the crock pot on a towel covering your counter and wall (I will explain why in a moment).  Lay the chopsticks across the top of the crockpot, and then lay the lid on top of the chopsticks.  Like so….

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cook stuff 2

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Why set things up like this?  Well, we want to cook down the applesauce, and essentially pull out as much moisture as we can.  Keeping the lid propped open allows the steam to escape.  However, anyone who has ever cooked pasta sauce on a stove top understands the concept of little sauce volcanoes.  There will be some splattering, so covering your workspace is important.

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Allow this to cook on low for 10-12 hours.  You shouldn’t need to stir it much, as the slow cooking process will avoid burning.  TIP** I cooked mine overnight.  I set the whole thing up at about 11:00pm, went to bed, and woke up to a very lovely smell in the air.  Once you get to the 10/12 hour mark, it’s time to do a little recon.  Give it a taste (Carefully! it’s hot!) adjust the spices if needed, and evaluate it’s done-ness.  Done-ness is a negotiable term, as it’s really up to you how thick you want your apple butter to be.  I like mine pretty thick.  Now I’m not sure what exactly went on with my batch (too much moisture, crockpot doesn’t work well, should have cooked it on high, ect) but my batch cooked for 22 hours before I was happy with it. (okay, I left the house for a while, but still it was taking FOREVER!!).  In the end, you should have something like this…

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stuff is done 2

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Your apple butter should cook down by about half, and turn a nice deep brown color.  If you are stirring once in a while, you probably won’t have the stuff stuck to the sides like mine.  I didn’t scrape them in, incase that part was too done.

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The last step is to check the consistency.  There’s 2 quick tests you can do.  Grab a plate (paper is fine), and drop a dollup of apple butter in the center.  Let it sit for about 30 seconds.  If it doesn’t change, you’re good.  If a ring of liquid appears around the dollup, you probably need to cook it a little longer.

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dollup 2

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Then take the plate, and tip it upside down over the crockpot.  Your apple butter should stay stuck to the plate.  This butter should be thick but spreadable.

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upsidedown check 2

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And that’s it!!  Now you can either put this into a container and store it in the fridge, or if you think you would like to store it in your pantry, you might want to consider canning it.  If you would like to know how to can your apple butter, stop back here for Part 3 of our apple butter series, and I will go through the whole canning process.  Until then….Enjoy!!

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I would love to know how you use apple butter, other than as a spread on toast.  Leave a comment below!!

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Lizz

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