Monday, 12 October 2015

slow cooker spiced apple and date butter

apple butter, apple recipes, preserving, apple jam, date recipes, autumn, recipes, scrumping, fall recipes, slow cooking, preserves, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, apple spread, fruit spread, dried fruit, rosewater, bay leaves, quatre epices, cinnamon,
slow cooker spiced apple & date butter
apple butter, apple recipes, preserving, apple jam, date recipes, autumn, recipes, scrumping, fall recipes, slow cooking, preserves, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, apple spread, fruit spread, dried fruit, rosewater, bay leaves, quatre epices, cinnamon, Eric le chien, forests, walking, Limousin,
Autumn walks with Eric le chien
apple butter, apple recipes, preserving, apple jam, date recipes, autumn, recipes, scrumping, fall recipes, slow cooking, preserves, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, apple spread, fruit spread, dried fruit, rosewater, bay leaves, quatre epices, cinnamon,
many many apples
Although the transition into Autumn can be a bit of a shock - especially after the glorious Summer we had here in the Limousin, Autumn definitely brings it own rewards. Long walks in the forest in the crisp mornings, the red, green and gold coloured leaves, sweet chestnuts and the smell of wood smoke wisping through the air as everyone in the village lights their fires. 

The smells outside are matched only by the aromas of the spicy slow cooked dishes that take over my kitchen at this time of year. Over the last few days I have been busy chopping, peeling and stirring my bumper apple harvest (that I scrumped from a friends garden) into a selection of preserves, chutneys, sauces and of course the odd crumble. It just wouldn't be Autumn without apple crumble and lots of hot custard (or creme anglaise as we call it over here). 


The first apple recipe I am sharing with you is my Moroccan inspired spiced apple and date butter. Similar to an apple jam or preserve made by slow cooking the apples with sugar and spices until they are soft and reduced down. What is left after the long slow cooking is a thick, dark, sweet and spicy apple spread. Like a super concentrated apple sauce. I gave the mix a quick whizz with the hand blender as wanted a smooth spread - but you can leave it chunky if you prefer. Although there is no butter in the spread the name refers to the thick and creamy consistency that is created in the cooking process.  


A great way to spend a rainy Autumn day, filling the house with the delicious smell of spicy apples. Do you have any favourite Autumn or apple recipes? Do let us know in the comments below. It's always interesting to discover and share new recipes.  

makes: about 6 x 1 lb jars

preparation time: 30 minutes
cooking time: slow cooker on high for 8 hours (but times can vary due to variations in your slow cooker temperature/amount of liquid in the apples). It's ready when well reduced and jammy/thick in texture. It should be a glossy golden dark reddish colour. 

ingredients:
5 1/2 lbs peel, cored & finely chopped apples (I used a variety of apples that I scrumped from my friends garden - a mix of larger, tart cooking apples and sweeter eating apples). 
7 oz chopped dates
4 cups sugar
1 tbs rosewater
3 bay leaves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp quatre epices (or mixed spice) 
1/2 tsp salt

method:


put all the in ingredients in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for about 8 hours - stirring occasionally. (see cooking time). 


after about 5-6 hours - when the apples are softened turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves and blend with a hand held stick blender to create a smooth consistency. This stage is optional. Leave it out if you would prefer a chunkier sauce. 


return to the heat for the remaining cooking time. 


when it's cooked pour into clean, sterilized jars. Leave to cool and store in the refrigerator. Bon appetit! 


cooking hints & tips:


feel free to play about with the spices I used - adding more or less of what you like. Star anise, cinnamon sticks, cardamon, fresh chopped ginger or vanilla pods would also be delicious. 


it's great on toast or croissants in the morning, stirred into porridge or rice pudding, or as an alternative to apple sauce with roast pork and sauces. Stir some into marinades for pulled pork or roasted meat recipes. Just a few ideas - but you can use anywhere you would use a jam or apple sauce. 


a delicious way of using up any excess apples that you may have at this time of year. 


makes a delicious food gift for friends & family. 

store the apple & date butter in the fridge & use within 1 week. 
recipe inspired and adapted from: crock pot apple butter




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11 comments:

  1. Oh this sounds totally divine, perfect on a crumpet sitting by a fire warming up on those spices. Thanks for this lush entry to #CreditCrunchMunch:-)

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    Replies
    1. it would be great on a crumpet - thanks so much for stopping by :)

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  2. What a great recipe, I love the spices & I can just imagine the aromas in your kitchen. Making chutneys with my apples at the moment but I might just save some to make this delicious butter.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you - the smells were amazing! Just a shame I'm out of apples at the moment... Is your chutney recipe on the blog? Would love to try it out :)

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing. Do you know if this has a high enough acid content to can via a water bath?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you - sorry I am not sure about canning/water bath techniques.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This sounds amazing. A great way to use up this season's many apples! Thanks for entering the No Waste Food Challenge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much - I had soooo many apples!

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  6. I love apple butter made the slow cooker which I use all winter in porridge. I think you can it in a waterbath and it will keep not in the fridge, but I'd need to experiment. Thanks for linking up to #creditcrunchmunch

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  7. I love the flavours you've used in this butter! Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing with the #nowastefoodchallenge :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks so much - will definitely be making it again next year when it's apple season

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Thanks for stopping by. Your comments are always appreciated.