I am a huge fan of snow, like anytime the beautiful white flakes want to fall from the sky, is more than okay with me. We woke up to 4 inches of snow yesterday, which is basically pure magic. The ground pretty much glows and everything is quieter than normal. Who else loves the snow??
SO yesterday was obviously a baking day, which leads into our recipe for today… You ready? Apples, cinnamon, cloves, and water. That’s all you need to make APPLE BUTTER. Apple butter is like the cooler, more sophisticated cousin of applesauce. The party gets started the same way, though, in the crockpot. I used Jonagold apples, but really any kind of apple will work. I wouldn’t use Honeycrisp because those beautiful apples are normally pretty spendy and and too gorgeous to mash up. Maybe someday when I have my own Honeycrisp tree…
Slice up those apples and fill up your crockpot. Obviously the size of your apples will dictate how many to use, but I’d say 4-6ish. Sprinkle half a tablespoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of cloves on them, and add a half a cup of water. Set the crockpot to high for the first three hours, and then reduce it to low. You could start it on low, it will just take longer, but totally fine. Time is also dependent on the type of apples. Softer apples, like Transparents will not need as much time. Mine took 4 hours on low to get to the mashing into applesauce consistency.
Here’s where we turn applesauce into apple butter. Get your immersion blender out and make the smoothest applesauce you’ve ever seen. You could put the apples into a food processor or a good blender, but then you would be making more things dirty, and I am all about making life as easy as possible. This is the one I have and I LOVE it. Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 200 Watt 2 Speed Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome
Ready for it? Now you are going to keep cooking the the apples for 2-4 hours on low, until enough liquid has evaporated out to get the consistency thicker. You should be able to spread it out, not quite as thick as butter, but that’s the idea. Your house will smell SO GOOD.
Now what? One of my favorite ways to use apple butter is in Apple Butter Bars. This recipe is the best I’ve found, from Platter Talk:
Oatmeal and Apple Butter Bars
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup butter softened to room temperature.
- 1 cup apple butter
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In large mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, sugars, salt and cinnamon.
Add butter and stir until creamy.
Pat half of the mixture into baking pan.
Spread apple butter evenly over crumb layer.
Sprinkle remaining crumbs over apple butter and press down gently.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden.
Transfer pan to wire rack and cool completely.
Apple butter is super yummy on whole wheat English muffins or with scones. I do love all of the carbs, sorry if you are Keto-ing and reading this. (I tried that, and actually had to quit because it made me hate food and life in general.) Just like applesauce, it freezes really well. And while we’re in the freezer, grab some vanilla ice cream and put some apple butter on top. For realz. I did not think of this myself, but we had this for a snack at Girl Scouts the other night and it was AMAZING. It’s like an apple pie party in your mouth. If you haven’t tried Halo Top ice cream yet, DO IT. You’re welcome.
So back to the beautiful white stuff falling from the sky. It’s like being inside a snow globe! Again, we’re going to blame growing up in Southern California for my ridiculous levels of excitement, just like with fall. The first time I saw snow, like actually snowing snow, not manmade snow at a ski resort, was in my freshman year of college in New York. I woke up at 8am, in my apartment overlooking Washington Square to SNOW. Without thinking, I called my mom to tell her the exciting news. Yeah, it was super early in California still, oops. Snow also means cute boots, plaid, and cozy jackets while building snow men, and of course sledding.
And snow makes me want clam chowder with sourdough bread. I have this recipe in my Instant Pot right now. Except, I never follow the recipe exactly. Even before I have tried it, I’m like no, we’re going to roll a little differently. I can’t help it. I might need a support group.
What did I change? All soups need to start with shallots, celery and garlic, in my opinion. So I swapped out the onion for a shallot, and added in 1 stalk of celery and 2 minced cloves of garlic. I also added a teaspoon of chicken flavored Better than Bouillon right before I mixed in the clam juice and water.
I got a loaf of sourdough from Avenue Bread, and it’s going to be the perfect snowy day dinner. And of course there’s a fire in the wood stove. Happy snowy Saturday to you and I hope my love for snow could at least help you like it a little more, if you’re not a fellow super fan 😉