What better way to start 2013 than with an easy and delicious recipe for some homemade apple butter?
The beauty of this recipe is that you have total control! You can choose which type of apples (leading to a sweeter or tarter end product), the level of spices and even the final consistency (thicker vs thin). If your New Year’s resolution includes getting back into the kitchen, then this is the perfect recipe to start with; it’s easy, versatile and delicious…plus it makes your house smell amazing. And, not that we care what others think (wink, wink), but I think it tends to really impress people when they find out you’re making your own condiments.
I love to make resolutions, and for the most part I try very hard to keep them all year round.
This year I have decided on 3 major ones:
1) Try not to take things so personal. I am a very sensitive person by nature, and at times, I find it hard to take constructive criticism in stride. However, on the flip side, I really value my ability to look within and target certain areas that I feel are in need of change or growth. I think, that if I could marry the two, then I will take further strides in 2013, in all areas of my life (work, blog, relationships, etc).
2) Since moving to Salem, MA I have become somewhat of a hermit. I find myself missing a sense of ties to the community, and therefore, would like to get involved in different local activities. My first adventure is starting yoga at a nearby studio. I hope that this will not only increase my flexibility and inner peace, but also open up the opportunity to meet some new people. To any local readers…have you tried the Yoga Sakti studio?
3) Start to think more carefully about the future, with respect to my career development. With the current economy being what it is, I think it’s so important to start planning for the next step way in advance. It’s always scary to enter the unknown, but I think that taking the time to reflect on what is going to make you the most happy and fulfilled is essential to success.
Ok, now onto the recipe. I had been mulling over this recipe for several weeks after I saw the general concept posted on someone’s Facebook (and I always say Facebook is useless…:). Then, on a whim, I roasted apples with fresh thyme for dessert one night and the flavor profile was born! This recipe lays out the general ingredient amounts and timing, but as I mentioned earlier, this is a very flexible recipe that can be adapted to your own preferences.
Typically, most people use apple butter on toast or other bread product, but if you are laying low on the carbs why not try pairing this with greek yogurt or into your morning smoothie. I swirled it into my plain yogurt for yesterday’s breakfast and it was amazing (did not add any additional stevia or anything). Also, SB and I used this as a sort of sauce on our pork tenderloin for New Year’s dinner and it really tasted nice.
I hope you are enjoying the first few days of 2013 and if you are new to Scientifically Delicious, I invite you to look around and see what things we have been up to in 2012.
Have a great day!
- ~3 lbs cored and chopped apples, I used Fuji and left the skins on (trust me, don’t waste time peeling, plus added fiber!)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon (in hindsight, this was a lot of cinnamon…but I love it’s insulin-regulating properties, so I stand by this amount. you may want to add less initially and add more at the end)
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 5-6 sprigs of thyme (I left them whole, see picture, and took them out before the mashing step)
- 2-3 tsp lemon juice, to your taste
- 1 cup of water (you could use organic cider or apple juice here…but I opted for water to avoid the addition of extra sugar)
- Wash and core your apples
- Cut apples into even slices and place them into the bottom of your slow cooker
- Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves and allspice to the apples
- Pour water over the spices and mix everything so it’s evenly coated
- Place the springs of thyme evenly on top of the apples
- Cook on high for 4 hours
- At the end of the initial 4 hours, the apples will be browned and start to look like they are breaking apart
- Remove the thyme sprigs and mash the apples with a potato masher
- Continue to cook on high and stir until the mixture has a sort of applesauce consistency
- Pour hot apple mixture into the food processor
- Blend, blend, blend until all the peels have completely broken down and the apple mixture is completely smooth (I swear, it works…the peel basically disappears)
- Pour mixture back into the slow cooker, taste, and stir in the lemon juice
- Continue to cook on high with the lid off (time will vary according to the consistency you prefer, I probably cooked mine for another 1.5-2 hours)
- As the butter is cooking, stir and taste, taste, taste! It’s cool to see how the taste changes as the apple sauce starts to thicken, feel free to add more spices or lemon juice during this final cooking time