Crock Pot Apple Butter

 



Have you ever been riding down the road, listening to the radio, when a song comes on that you turn up loud and sing along with?  It brings back old memories and makes your smile.  Smells and tastes trigger old memories too.

For me, apple butter makes me think of my daddy. For as far back as I can remember I was a daddy’s girl.  My daddy, one of the best men I have ever known, passed away 10 years ago.  I still miss him today but the good memories make me smile.

Daddy loved apple butter and one of my favorite memories was when he picked loads of apples from the tree in the back yard and then I helped mama make apple butter.  It took us all day, it was a long, slow process.  We had to stand and stir, and stir, and stir to prevent it from burning or sticking.

I have made apple butter a few times since that day, and always just like mama taught me.  However, when I heard about apple butter made in the crock pot I took notice.  After my recent trip to the mountains I knew I had to try it.  I don’t know how many apples I actually used, but it is great and oh so EASY!  I’m not sure what made it so good.  Maybe it was the combination of apples I used this time or if it was the crock pot method.  Maybe it’s simply that I didn’t have to stand and stir all day.  Either way, my daddy would have loved it!

The majority of my apples were Mutzu, with some Braeburn and Honeycrisp in the mix too.  This is how I made it.

 

Crock Pot Apple Butter
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Mixture of apple varieties, probably about 20 large, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 3-4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. coarse salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 c. fresh apple cider
  • ¼ c. fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Set your slow cooker to high and add sugars, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger, 1 c. apple cider, and lemon juice. Stir to mix and add apple chunks to fill the crock pot. Cook for several hours until the apples break down. Add additional apple chunks to fill the crock pot, stir and cook several more hours until all apples break down.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook for 9 to 11 hours, with the lid ajar. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is thick and dark in color. Taste and add additional spices or sugar if you prefer. Uncover and cook an additional 30 minutes on low.
  3. Ladle hot apple butter into freshly boiled jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Wipe rims clean with a clean, wet dish towel, if necessary, so the lids will seal well. Adjust rings.
  4. Process jars of apple butter in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes at a gentle boil. Make sure jars are covered by at least 2-inches of water.
  5. After processing, remove jars and place on a towel to cool.
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Mango Habanero Jam

mango hab jelly

 

While on vacation at the beach this summer Savannah had Coconut Shrimp served with a sauce that I could have literally licked off the plate.  Yes, it was THAT good and looking back she may regret offering me a bite!!  It was sweet and hot at the same time.  It reminded me of pepper jelly but sweeter, it didn’t have a pepper taste, just the heat.  When I asked about the sauce I was told that it was mango habanero jelly. 

I googled and searched through cookbooks for weeks, until I finally decided to use what I liked from three different recipes.  Making jams and jellies is really simple if you will have everything organized and ready before you start cooking.  It turned out amazing, and I have made two batches already!  We have had it on cream cheese with crackers, with Panfried Grouper and with Coconut Shrimp.  Here’s the recipe for the jam. Check Not Just Sunday Dinner for my Coconut Shrimp and Easy Panfried Grouper recipes.
Mango Habanero Jam
 
Author:
Serves: about 8 half pints
 
Ingredients
  • 4 c. peeled, chopped and crushed mangoes
  • ½ c. habanero peppers, seeded and minced
  • ½ c. red bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • ¼ c. purple onion, minced
  • 1 c. unsweetened white grape juice
  • ¼ c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. Ball Fruit Jell No Sugar Needed Pectin
  • 3½ c. granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Prepare mangoes by peeling and chopping. Crush with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor, but don't over process.
  2. Wearing gloves, remove seeds and veins and mince. Be very careful not to touch your skin!
  3. Mince red bell pepper and purple onion.
  4. In a 8 quart nonreactive pot combine mangoes, peppers, and onions. Add the grape juice and butter. Gradually stir in the pectin. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Add sugar and return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and ladle hot jam into freshly boiled half-pint jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Wipe rims clean with a clean, wet dish towel, if necessary, so the lids will seal well. Adjust rings.
  7. Process jars of jam in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes at a gentle boil. Make sure jars are covered by at least 2 inches of water.
  8. After processing, remove jars and place on a towel to cool for 12 - 24 hours.
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Strawberry Lemon Marmalade

I love making homemade jams and jellies.  When I saw the recipe for this Strawberry Lemon Marmalade I put it on my “to try” list.  I thought it would be spring before I made it but with the delicious strawberries coming from Plant City, FL right now I decided to try it.  I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait…it’s delicious!

 

Strawberry Lemon Marmalade
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Heaping ¼ c. thinly sliced lemon peel
  • 4 c. crushed strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 (1.75-oz.) pkg. fruit pectin
  • 6 c. sugar
  • 7 (8-oz.) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
Instructions
  1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready to use. Do not boil.
  2. Combine lemon peel and water to cover in a 8-10 quart saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and boil for 5 minutes, until peel is softened. Drain and discard liquid. Return to peel to pan.
  3. Add strawberries and lemon juice to peel and mix well. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Add 6 c. sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off foam if necessary.
  5. Ladle hot jam into jars leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar, apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
  6. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
Notes
Substitute lime for lemon if desired.
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Three-Citrus Marmalade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure which I like best, hot, flaky biscuits straight out of the oven or leftover, toasted biscuits with homemade preserves.

Growing up, mama always had homemade preserves.  My favorite was always peach.  I never really liked orange marmalade until my last trip to Disney World.  While having afternoon tea at the Garden View Tea Room, I had a wonderful chicken salad tea sandwich with orange marmalade.  It was so, so good.  That’s all it took for me to become a fan of orange marmalade.

After that trip, I found this recipe for Laura’s Three-Citrus Marmalade in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzerb, M.D. and Zoe Francois.  I loved the idea of grapefruit and lemon zest with the orange zest, so I had to try it.  Not only is it good on toasted biscuits and chicken salad sandwiches, but I’ve used it in different glazes too.

I canned my marmalade, but it can be frozen.

 

Three-Citrus Marmalade
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 4 naval oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ pink grapefruit
  • 2½ c. water
  • ⅛ tsp. baking soda
  • 5½ c. sugar
  • 1 box (1.75-oz.) Sure-Jell fruit pectin
Instructions
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the colored zest from the fruit and discard the white pith. Chop the zest coarsely.
  2. Chop the fruit, discarding any seeds and reserving the juice.
  3. Place the zests, water, and baking soda into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add fruit and juice; simmer another 10 minutes.
  4. Measure the sugar and set aside. Do not reduce the sugar, or marmalade will not set properly.
  5. Stir the box of fruit pectin into the fruit mixture. Bring to a full, rolling boil.
  6. Stir in the sugar quickly, return to a full rolling boil, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
  7. Pour the hot marmalade into clean canning jars. Process according to the canner and U.S. Department of Agriculture instructions, or refrigerate and use within 2 months. The marmalade also can be frozen, without canning, for up to 1 year.
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