If you walk into the kitchen looking for a healthy snack and see nothing but apples galore, you're not alone! Between apple picking over the weekend, to grabbing a few bags at the grocery store or farmer's market, it can be a little overwhelming with all of those apples. And let's face it, munching down on an apple can get boring, fast.
When I have an overload of apples that I don't want to go to waste, there are two recipes I like to make: applesauce and apple butter. I especially love making apple butter during the fall season. What is apple butter you might ask? Is it the same thing as applesauce? Is there any butter in it? Turns out apple butter is actually quite different from applesauce. There's also zero butter in it. However, it does spread as smooth and easy as soft butter.
Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of applesauce that is made in the slow cooker and cooked down until the sugars and sugars in the apples caramelize and turn dark brown in color. It's thick since the liquid has plenty of time to evaporate and has a smooth texture rather than applesauce, which is on the watery side and usually pretty chunky.
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Apple butter has an intense apple flavor and is flavored with brown sugar and warming spices we all know and love to use. Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, allspice, even cardamom are common spices you would find in apple butter. Doesn't that just scream Fall?
If you're looking for a delicious apple butter recipe, you have to try out this one. Use a mix of your favorite apples for the best flavor (Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious) and combine in the crockpot with the spices, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Cook low and slow until the apples break down and the mixture turns thick. For that smooth consistency, mash the apple butter by hand or purée it in the blender or food processor. After you make this easy recipe, you can store the apple butter in mason jars in the refrigerator.
So, you have all of that homemade apple butter and the house smells amazing. Now, what do you do? Sure, the jars make excellent gifts, but if you're looking for some interesting ways to use up your apple butter instead of just spreading a generous amount on top of toast, try it out in these delicious recipes that incorporate apple butter.
1.Apple Butter Pinwheel Cookies
That hint of slow-cooked apple butter inside of a buttery, slightly sweet cookie dough, makes the perfect treat for apple lovers.
2. Honey Apple Butter Bread with Cinnamon Glaze
Good thing this recipe makes two loaf pans because it's just that delicious! Don't forget to sip on some apple cider while you're enjoying a slice.
3. Apple Butter Pie Bars
If you're not in the mood to whip up an apple pie, these apple butter pie bars are equally delicious and even easier to make. Similar to slab pie, this recipe has a layer of crust, apple butter, and a crumble topping.
4. Baked Apple Butter Brown Sugar Chicken Wings
Didn't think you could use apple butter in savory recipes? Turns out apple butter is the perfect, sweet ingredient to use in savory dishes.
5. Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork
Flavorful, easy, and versatile, this recipe is one you'll be making over and over again. Use the pulled pork in a sandwich, as a topping on pizza, or in tacos for a complete meal.
Who would've thought that apple butter would be the secret ingredient?