I have been busily slicing apples, making them into apple pie filling, apple butter, jarred apples and dried slices.
Trudy's gave us this amazing peelercorerslicer, which she had when they lived in Apple Valley, CA. When they left their apple trees, she passed it on and it's been getting a workout.
This contraption has made peeling almost 100 apples a breeze! And no, I didn't peel them all at once. That's for hard core canners. I am a lightweight, believe me.
People around here don't waste a thing, so canning, freezing and drying are part of life, just like it is in other agricultural parts of the United States and in some hipster enclaves in Brooklyn. Just kidding: I know there are folks everywhere who have decided they want to know where their food comes from and have been preserving their hearts out. And that's a good trend, don't you think?
Here at The Nickel and Dime, the little kitchen has been in chaos for a week, but the end is in sight and I dream of quality time in the sewing room during the chill months ahead.
I figure I will make another batch of apple butter. I used the Crock Pot so it was easy. All I did was layer apples and a sugar and spice mixture up to the brim of the cooker, plop on the lid and cook it for about 12 hours. I didn't stir it until the 12 hours were up. Then I removed the top, turned it to high and let it cook down for a couple more hours.
Here's the recipe:
Slow Cooker Apple Butter
5.5 lbs apples, peeled and finely chopped
3 cups sugar
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Layer apples, sugar and spices (mixed together) in a Crock Pot to the brim. Cover the pot and cook on high for 1 hour. Then turn to low and cook on low for 9-12 hours until thickened and dark brown. I didn't stir mine, but newer slow cookers seem to cook hotter on low, so you might want to give yours a stir or two if you have a new one.
Enjoy how fragrant your house becomes while this is cooking.
After it looks brown and thickened, remove the lid, turn up to high for 1-2 hours. You can determine if it's thick enough by dabbing some apple butter on a saucer. If it holds its shape and isn't watery, you're done!
Now you can use a whisk or an immersion blender to smooth out your apple butter if you want.
Spoon into freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch space at the top and pop into the freezer. You can also process this in jars in a water bath canner.
Makes about 6 half pint jars of apple butter
Next recipe is for the apple pie filling, really!
While Ms. Pearl is happy to pose with a basket of red delicious apples, she wants you to know that she likes tomatoes but not apples.