Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An Apple A Day - Christmas Gift Idea

Santa's list may be long, but if you're family is anything like mine then you know that I have a pretty long list of people to buy for as well. Our cash flow is certainly limited, but I know that homemade can add that special touch to turn an inexpensive gift into a gift of real worth.

I was at a friend's house recently and tasted some of her delicious apple butter. When she assured me that it was very easy to make, I decided that jars of apple butter would be the perfect gift for extended family members and friends. Because it was so easy to make and I had so much extra, I was even able to pull a jar out this morning to give to Baby L's physical therapist ... spreading a little Christmas cheer on a moment's notice!

The trick to apple butter is that it takes a. long. time. to cook. I found a few recipes online and kind of meshed them together to make it the way I wanted.

Apple Butter Recipe

about 6 lbs. apples - peeled, cored, and sliced
4 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Place apples in a large pot on the stove with a little water in the bottom (about an inch). Cover and bring to a boil. Stir occassionally and cook until apples can be sliced through with a spoon.

2. You may want to drain off excess water, but keep it in a bowl or cup nearby. Using a food processor or hand mixer, blend to the consistency of applesauce. You can slowly add applejuice that you drained off back in, if your applesauce does not seem to thin.

3. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt.

4. Combine applesauce and sugar mixture in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 10-11 hours, stirring occassionally so that it doesn't burn.

5. Remove lid and continue cooking on low for one more hour.

I was able to fill about 10 small jars with one batch.

If you have a breadmaker, you can even bake a few loaves of homemade bread to go along with your apple butter.

At a Christmas party this weekend, we gave a loaf of whole-wheat bread, a jar of apple butter, and a Christmas card to each of the eight families there. An inexpensive and delicious Christmas gift!

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1 comment:

  1. That sounds very yummy! I'm adding it to the list of stuff I'm making for Christmas. I still have a ton of apples left over from fall picking. ;-)



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