Kitchen Experiments: Apple Butter & Spiked Pumpkin Butter
Posted November 13, 2009on:
Last weekend, I managed to find one farm in Upstate New York where they were still open for apple picking! It was the first time I ever went and it was great! It was a nice day–sunny and not too chilly. My boyfriend & I came home with a huge bag each of a variety of apples. We brought back golden delicious, granny smith macintosh, red delicious and some other varieties I had only seen in the farmer’s markets. Of course I also had to get some sugar pumpkins so that I could try my hand at some new pumpkin recipes.
Of course, my first thoughts of things to do with the apples were apple pie and apple turnovers. But I thought I’d try something different so I decided to make some apple butter. If you’ve never had apple butter, I highly recommend it! It’s sweet & tart and delicious. It’s like an apple jam that’s a great accompaniment to toast, a bagel or even on the side of some pancakes. My recipe is a bit different though since I also added dried cranberries for some extra tartness. I also cooked this in my slow cooker so it was really easy. If any of you try this, let me know what you think!
Apple-Cranberry Butter Yield: 64 ounces
- 5 1/2 to 6 pounds apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I used a variety of macintosh, granny smith and red delicious.)
- 6 ounces dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon clove
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- In the bowl of your slow cooker or crock pot, (mine was 5 quart, but a bigger one would probably be better) add apples, cranberries, cinnamon, clover, salt, syrup, sugar, nutmeg, and allspice. (If all the apples don’t fit, just add as many as you can with the seasonings then add more as they cook down.)
- Stir to combine.
- Place slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours, until all the apples are cooked down and thickened.
- Use an immersion blender to remove any remaining lumps. Or you can also do process it in your food processor or blender, in batches.
- You can preserve these in cans so you can have apple butter throughout the winter or you can also freeze it to store it.
Pumpkin Butter Yield: about 20 ounces
Pumpkin butter, like apple butter is sweet and delicious! It’s a great way to use up any pumpkin puree you may have or even some sugar pumpkins you just got from the pumpkin patch! I used the pumpkins I bought from the farm’s shop when I went apple picking.
- 1 medium-sized sugar pumpkin, seeds removed or about 4 cups of pumpkin puree
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- pinch salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice pumpkin in half. Remove seeds and membranes from pumpkin. (Reserve seeds for roasting, if desired.)
- Place pumpkin halves in oven, flesh side down. Roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Cool.
- Scoop out pumpkin flesh and place in bowl of slow cooker.
- Add ginger, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, apple cider, salt and bourbon.
- Stir all ingredients together to combine.
- Cook on low for 2 hours until thickened and reduced. The best way to store this would be to freeze it as pumpkin does not can well.
And what did I do with the rest of my pumpkin? Well I made a pumpkin cheesecake of course! I used a recipe from Pick-Your-Own and it turned out delicious! I will note however that I ended up with enough batter for two cheesecakes, which really isn’t too much of a problem once you taste this stuff! Also, be sure to bake it in a water bath. Please! And at a lower temperature–say about 300 degrees. I baked it without a water bath, at 350 degrees, and the tops cracked and the texture was a bit gritty. I think with gentler cooking both of these minor issues can be averted. I will definitely be trying this again soon, once the cakes are both gone. So far, I made this last night and as of today, one is already gone! It really is a great recipe!