This one is kind of old news and I have been meaning to post about it for the last few weeks. As I scraped the bottom of the bowl of cranberry apple butter this morning and poured the sweet and thick spread over my pumpkin muffins, I realized it was time to share this recipe with the world.
Cranberry Apple Butter (adapted from Cooking Light)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup cranberry apple juice
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 10 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced (about 2 1/2 pounds)
Combine all ingredients in a 5-quart electric slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low 10 hours or until apples are very tender.
The original recipe says:
“place a large fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; spoon one-third of apple mixture into sieve. Press mixture through sieve using the back of a spoon or ladle. Discard pulp. Repeat procedure with remaining apple mixture. Return apple mixture to slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, on high 1 1/2 hours or until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally.”
After I realized how difficult it was to get my apple mixture through a mesh strainer, I decided to do things a little differently, with great results. At this point, I broke out my immersion blender and blended the chunky apple butter right in the crockpot. I am always looking for reasons to use that little guy! It’s my power tool.
In this instance, the slow cooker and immersion blender yielded a thick, sweet and tart apple butter that keeps in the fridge for a few weeks.The aroma of sweet cooked apples and tart cranberries lingered for a few days.
The recipe said one week, but after eating it from an airtight container in the fridge for three, no one in my home has died yet. Given my care for clean and safe food preparation and my tendency to perform much better with stovetop cooking than baking, I think we are at much greater risk for a baking-related fire disaster than we are for a foodborne illness.
Once you peel, core, and dice the apples, this recipe is so easy to make and delicious to eat on bread, muffins, oatmeal, and more. You could even try it on your Thanksgiving turkey (or tofurky for that matter). The smell that filled my apartment was better than any apple-scented candle I have ever burned. Now go forth and slow cook!