Slow-Cooker Spiced Apple Butter

Extra apples? This easy slow-cooker apple butter requires minimal stirring and fuss – and makes the house smell wonderful while it bubbles away.

Easy apple butter
Blame it on baking ADD, but when I spied a few empty jam jars piled next to the basket of homegrown apples, my thoughts quickly turned from classic apple pies and apple frangipane tarts to jars of thick, slow-simmered, spiced apple butter. Since the slow-cooker does most of the work, I was back to baking in no time while the scent of slow-cooked apples wafted through the house.


Slow-Cooker Spiced Apple Butter

  • Servings: Two half-pint jars
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Extra apples? This easy slow-cooker apple butter requires minimal stirring and fuss - and makes the house smell wonderful while it bubbles away.


Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. apples
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Peel, core and dice apples. Place in a slow cooker on low. Cover apples with sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, Chinese 5-spice, and salt.
  2. Let simmer on low for 10-12 hours, stirring every hour or so, until very dark and very thick. Spoon in jars and refrigerate. Keeps for 3 weeks. Freeze for 6 months.


Apple Butter

Blame it on this sight.

 

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Slow Cooker Sausage & Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Occasionally, weekend to-do lists are meant to be ignored, Poldark reruns supplant afternoon football and a simple crock pot soup is all that is needed. Ah, lazy Sundays – nap optional.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup


Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups dried black beans
  • 2 Tablespoon rosemary, minced
  • 6 cups beef stock or water
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 cups Portuguese or Andouille sausage, diced and sautéed
  • 2 cups spinach (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sour cream

Directions

  1. Cook garlic and onion in oil in a slow cooker on high for 30 minutes.
  2. Add beans, 4 cups stock and rosemary, stir, and cook on high for an additional 4-6 hours.
  3. Add carrots and sausage and cook for another 1-2 hours.
  4. Add spinach (if using) and cook 1-2 minutes until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with sour cream.

Load of Crock

crockpotIn my 20+ years of being out on my own,  I’ve avoided buying a crock pot, viewing it as a tool for the home cook and not the utensil of the “serious chef” (Funny how I tend to borrow and use my co-worker’s slow cooker more than she does).  Well,  I ran into this little cutie today at the supermarket  – 1.5 quarts and only $9.99.  How could I resist?  I’m in a stew mood and I can’t wait for Fall.