[Recipe] Maple Cinnamon Apple Butter
(Healthcastle.com) Looking for a sweet treat that won't derail your healthy habits this year? Try homemade apple butter- its easy to make in the slow cooker and this version has all the deep dark caramel flavour with less added sugar and more filling, blood sugar beating fibre than the ones you normally find.
This apple butter is nice and thick, great for spreading on whole grain bread with a bit of sharp cheddar cheese for lunch or even coating a pork tenderloin in before popping in the oven to roast. A little bowl of it also quells the need for something sweet and comforting, I love to warm mine up on a chilly night.
Fall and winter is the time to make big batches of apple butter. I look for a big bag of "applesauce apples" at the local markets. They're often only a few dollars for 3-5 pounds and you don't have to worry that they're not Pinterest perfect because you won't recognize them when the apple butter is done anyways!
What's the secret to a lower added sugar apple butter that still makes your taste buds sing? Looooong slow cooking. I use my slow cooker for this and its almost effortless once you get it all going. I also leave the skins on to get the extra fibre and concentrated nutrients that it contains. With the really long cooking process it all breaks down very nicely, and I for one hate peeling anything so its a win-win recipe.
Recipe : Maple Cinnamon Apple Butter
- 4-5 lb apples (I had about 4 lb after weeding out some not so pretty ones, but slow cooker recipes are flexible).
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- Patience, lots.
Wash your apples well under warm water. Cut the apple off the core, then roughly chop in to chunks. Perfection in size and shape are not needed here- its going to turn in to mushy, caramelized goodness eventually no matter what shape your chunks are in. This took me just under 10 minutes.
Add your apples to the slow cooker and turn on to high. Add your maple syrup, water and cinnamon. Give everything a good stir and cover the slow cooker.
Leave to cook on high for about an hour (you can skip this step if you have somewhere you need to be, it will add an hour or two to the slow cooking time). Turn the slow cooker down to low and….wait. I stirred before bed to prevent burning on the top, and one other time but it probably wasn’t necessary.
My apple butter took 22 hours, yours may take anywhere from 20-24 depending on your slow cooker and apples. You are looking for the apples to be super soft, dark caramel brown and the whole mixture to be very thick. There should be very little free liquid left in the slow cooker.
If you are having trouble getting it to thicken, leave the lid off and turn up to high for an hour or so to let the liquid evaporate.
When your apples are ready, either puree with an immersion blender or throw in the food processor. Refrigerate for about a week or freeze for 2-3 months.
Don't be put off by the long cooking time, your house smells wonderful the whole time and its really a no fuss recipe. You'll come out with 2-3 mason jars filled to the brim with caramel apple goodness!
What are your favourite healthy comfort food recipes? Share them in the comments below!