It is only 9:15 on Sunday morning and I have already had a very productive day. I woke up to the heavenly smell of apples and cinnamon permeating the house from my apple butter that cooked all night in the crock pot.
I also had my new sourdough starter sitting on the counter waiting to be fed again. I fed the original starter about 7:00 last night since it had to rest for 8-12 hours, however I missed the fine print that said it should be left in a room temperature of 68-70 degrees. I was not about to turn the air conditioning to 68 degrees so I set my alarm for 4:00 to check on it which gave it 8 hours. It was perfect at 4:00 a.m., so I proceeded to throw half of it away and feed it again as instructed. It then got to rest for another 2 hours at which point it was ready to have part of it used for bread.
After feeding the starter, I turned my attention to the apple butter. I stirred it really well and left the cover off for another hour to darken and thicken while I sterilized my canning jars. Once the jars were ready, the apple butter got a quick blend with my immersion blender before being spooned into the waiting jars.
The lids were put on and they went into the water bath canner for 5 minutes of processing time. I love the sound that the jars make as they cool on the counter (you can actually hear them pop as they seal).
I have 6 (8-ounce) jars of apple butter plus a tiny 4 ounce jar cooling on the counter, I have sourdough bread dough rising on the counter and my overnight soaked garbanzo beans are simmering on the cooktop. A very productive day and it isn't even 10:00 yet. I do feel a nap coming on this afternoon though.
Apple Butter (from the Simply Canning website)
5 pounds apples (I used 5 pounds since my crock pot has a 5 quart capacity), peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fill crock pot with sliced apples (I used 3 pounds Granny Smith and 2 pounds Pink Lady). In separate bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves and salt. Sprinkle over apples, cover crock pot and cook on high for 1 hour.
Stir apples, reduce heat to low and allow to cook on low for 10 hours or overnight. In the morning stir well to break up apples and allow to cook uncovered for last hour. I like a smooth apple butter so I used my immersion blender to smooth it out.
I ladled the butter into hot sterlized jars and processed in my water bath canner for 5 minutes.
I did have a little bit left in the crock pot and I find myself going back again and again for spoonfuls of this luscious spread. I'm really looking forward to a slice of my homemade sourdough bread with my homemade apple butter for breakfast tomorrow.