As you know it's Summer over here and I've just finished fortifying the tomato patches from the King Parrots, only problem is it'll take a pair of wire cutters and a safe cracker to pick the tomatoes when they are ready
Peace and long life - Jules
Team Leader Rescued/Adopted Dog and Cat Lover's Team
The stuff at our farmers market is all local. Granted, the veggies are beets, potatoes, carrots, onions, and hoop-house grown greens. Then there's the breads, eggs, cheese, meats, honey, mushrooms and apples. yum! I am reading a lot and have several quilts to make. I don't think we will run out of jam, but if we do I might make more from frozen fruit.
I think it is better cooked slow. The recipes I tried before this one were either too sweet or too spicy. Feedback I have gotten from everybody that I have made it for says it is the best they have eaten. The secret is the different types of apples and the slow cooking. My mom tried making it and she said the amount of honey she used was a little too much but again, she didn't use the mixture of different apples like I did. I have never used a roaster before.
This recipe is one I worked out myself. I really don't measure, just eyeball it every time and is pretty consistent so far -- so here goes. I use 5-6 different kinds of apples. You need a good mixture of tart and sweet apples such as tart granny smith and I use rome and then sweet apples like golden delicious, fugi, and another apple like a good winesap or stayman which has a sweet/tart flavor mixture. I use an equal amount of each apple (the mixture of apples are what makes the apple butter so good) Wash, peel and cut up in small cubes (by hand) the apples, enough to completely fill up the crock pot (they will cook way down). not important to add water - the apples should be in their own juice, to keep the juice from the apple, cut them directly over the crockpot. Cook on med-low for about 12 hours, stirring well about every hour, careful not to burn them! Then after they are cooked down to about 1/2 the amount, add a tblsp. each of fresh ground cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. I get my spices from an organic spice store here locally and taste better if you buy them fresh as possible instead of from the grocery store. Also I use about 1 tsp. of nutmeg. Cook about 6 hours, stirring well about once an hour. Then after they cook down a little more, add 1&1/2 cup brown sugar. Cook on low for another 12 hours, also stirring often and again, careful not to burn! Then add 1/4 cup of sourwood honey. Cook 4 hours, continuing to stir. After 4 hours, stir and let sit crockpot off and covered for 1 hour. Taste and see if you prefer to add more spice or sugar and go from there. When you are taste testing, do make sure you do not put the spoon back in the apple butter as it will contaminate it. Turn crock pot on again and cook until piping hot on med-low heat, again careful to not burn. Once you burn it, you cannot get the burned taste out. Then use a water bath method to can in small jars and seal. let cool completely before you move the jars. Yes, it's involved but everybody I have made this recipe for says it is the best they have ever had. Some people prefer more brown sugar and is okay to add more, but make sure you cook for additional 4 hours if you add more spices or sugar.
There is always something going on in my garden. I have year round organic garden & large compost piles. yesterday I worked on my compost turning it w/ the tiller; gathered spinach, collards, and other greens, etc. and prepared a couple raised beds for spring planting. Today is raining but I'm starting seeds inside for planting in a few weeks. and drawing out where my spring garden plants will go, etc. There is always cleaning up to do outside weather permitting. I've also been working on canning apple butter for a few weeks. It makes the house smell so good! If you haven't made apple butter yet, consider doing it. I use the crock pot. Although it's very involved, is easy and the outcome is delicious and there's some leftover to share.
Fitness Minutes: (12,931) Posts: 625 1/23/14 10:02 A
I know our gardens are frozen and the Farmers Markets are only bringing in out of state produce...So canning is of FRESH Veggies and Fruits is not an option... (except for you Jules and others in another Hemisphere !!!)
So What are you doing to keep busy thru this Cold, Cold Winter????
I'm canning chicken and beef stock painting my kitchen cabinets and window trim cleaning out the clutter by selling it on Ebay and what doesn't sell, I'm stock piling for a yard sale. Going back to my childhood love of hairpin lace crocheting. Watched Dolphin Tale...Loved It !!!
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