Have you ever had way too many apples in the kitchen, long enough that it starts smelling like apple cider and you didn’t know what to do with them because they were kind of wrinkly and not exactly delicious-looking?! Well, I have and I decided to make glorious, spiced apple butter.
The whole apple dilemma started when Don went to visit his friends’ farm and came back with enough apples to keep the doctor away for months! We ate some, put some in our thanksgiving stuffing and still had a bunch of them hanging out in our fruit basket, and because I have a policy of “No bad apple left behind”, I went out to Loblaws bought some more non-delicious-looking apples from their discounted rack to make sure we get a decent amount of apple butter from one batch. To be honest, the Loblaws apples weren’t even close to being bad, they were perfectly juicy, crunchy Honey Crisp apples, they were just a little “ugly”. So I seriously encourage everyone to give those discount sections a chance, I promise there are hidden gems there and hey, you’d be reducing some of that food waste that happens every day in our world! That being said, it’s time to get your peelers out and taste buds ready.
“No Bad Apple Left Behind” Apple Butter Recipe:
12 “ugly” apples
½ cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp clove
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cardamom
(You can add star anise too for more flavour)
Now, you start by peeling all those apples and make sure you get the most out of them. DO NOT get rid of the bruised ones. The one basic rule of this recipe is “You only throw out a fully rotten apple”. If it can’t be saved then the next best thing is to compost it! Once the apples are peeled and cut, throw them in the crockpot on high heat, add the water and spices, give them all a mix and put the lid on. YOU’RE DONE! I usually cover the lid of my crockpot with a towel to trap as much of the heat as possible because I’m a little impatient; You can skip that step altogether. It’s a waiting game now! Check on the apples after 4 hours, give them a stir and cover again. You basically want the apple juices to reduce and the natural sugars to caramelize until you get a buttery, deep amber paste. After 8 hours in the crockpot, your apple butter should be ready! Once it’s ready, the sky’s the limit with what you can pair that bad-apple-boy with. I like it with sharp cheddar or on a lamb burger. By the way, you can freeze apple butter for 3 months if you made too much.
Disclaimer: You can make this recipe in a saucepan on the stove but consider yourself warned. You will need to watch the apples like a hawk and stir consistently like your life depended on it, otherwise, the apples will stick and burn.
Reduce food waste in your home by getting creative with your leftovers. Think of it as an upcycling DIY but for your bellies!
What’s next? We’re thinking of using our old bananas for something delicious. Stay tuned!
Rawan and Don
Rebels in the Kitchen Duo