One of the earliest cooking memories I have is of my mom simmering apple butter overnight on the old wood cookstove in the hundred-year-old farmhouse we lived in at the time. I wasn’t to touch it, of course, but I do remember one of my stuffed animals getting a melted nose (he wanted to smell the apple butter, of course!). After we moved out of that house, my mom didn’t want to spend the electricity to make apple butter on the stovetop in the new house, so she didn’t make apple butter for years. Until I moved to Minnesota and found the owner of a local apple orchard, who told me you could make apple butter overnight in the Crock-Pot and — gasp! you didn’t even have to peel the apples first! The peel softens, and you just whiz it up with an immersion blender!
- Spices as desired: cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice, ginger...
- Sweetener as desired
- Quarter and core apples enough to fill your Crock-pot, rounding up under the lid. Turn on low for at least 8 hours, maybe 12, depending on what consistency you want. I ended up cooking it about 12 hours.
- Once the apples are cooked down, use an immersion blender to chop up any skin left un-disintegrated.
- Add spices and sweetener to taste. Enjoy!
- This can be canned or frozen to keep longer.
- I ended up putting about 3 TBS of honey and cinnamon in mine, but keep in mind Crock-Pot sizes may differ, so sweeten and spice it to your taste.
- Spices to taste (ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon)
- Sweetener to taste
- Quarter and core pears; no need to peel them, as the peel disintegrates. Fill the Crock-Pot with the pears and cook on low for 8-12 hours. I cooked them about 12 hours. Using an immersion blender, chop up any leftover pieces of peel. Add sweetener and spices to taste.
- This may be canned or frozen to keep longer.
- I ended up putting in about 3 TBS of honey and cinnamon, and about 2 TBS each ginger and cardamom, but keep in mind Crock-Pot sizes may differ, so sweeten and spice it to your taste.
- 3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (if using canned pumpkin, use plain pumpkin, not pie filling)
- 2 cups brown sugar (or less!)
- 1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
- 1 envelope gelatin
- 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 cup apple juice or water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
- Stir ingredients together in a large pot and heat gently to bubbling. Allow to cool somewhat before placing in jars or containers.
- Stir ingredients together in a Crock-pot and cook on low about 6 hours or until you like the consistency.
- Again, it's not recommended to can pumpkin butter, though I have canned it in the past with and without lemon juice, and it was fine. Perhaps the method I use to can the butters makes up for the difficulties mentioned in the article.
Cut the pumpkin in half from north to south (stem and blossom, not around the middle). You can scrape out the seeds before or after baking, but don’t throw them out! They make great snacks! Lay the cut sides down on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 45 minute to an hour, until you can slide a knife right through like cutting butter. Scrape out the seeds (it’s easier this way), and then scrape the flesh into a separate bowl. Go right up to the skin. This can be mashed and used just as you would canned pumpkin. You can also freeze it for later, when pumpkins aren’t all over the stores — think Christmas pumpkin pies!
Wash the pulp off the seeds, spread them out on a baking sheet (you can use the same one!), and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 300 F for 45 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
This method works on any hard winter squash, so knock yourself out! 🙂
- Canning jars
- Large-mouth funnel
- Measuring cup
- Boiling water
- Magnet stick (comes with the canning funnel)
- Butter of choice to be canned
- Preheat the oven to 250 F.
- Using the funnel, ladle the butter into the jar till just below where the screw part starts. Make sure not to get ANY food particles on the lip of the jar or even a little ways down, or else your jar won't seal. Wipe it off with a damp paper towel if you're not sure.
- Once your jars are full, put your lids into a large measuring cup and fill with boiling water. If the rubber doesn't soften, your lids won't seal (I found this out). Leave it for about 5 minutes.
- Use the magnet stick to get the lids out of the boiling water and place onto the jars, screwing the rings down, about as tightly as you can without forcing them.
- Place the jars in the oven on a middle rack for an hour. A little more is ok too.
- Take them out, careful not to tip them -- they're not sealed yet, and you don't want to get food up on the lip!
- Set them on the counter to cool (use a glass counter-saver, or your cool stovetop). You will hear popping sounds as the lids seal. When the jars are cool (usually in the morning - 12 hours!), tap the lids with your fingernail. You want to hear a clear "open" sound -- not a dull sound, and certainly not a lid with the clicky, poppy bubble! Refrigerate any you're not sure of. You can take a new lid and try to re-can them, or just eat it.
- Now you can tighten the rings on your sealed jars. Put cute labels, cloth circles on the top, and/or ribbon to give these as gifts!
- If the jar boils over during the process, wait till the jar cools completely, wash it off, and remove the ring. Test with your fingernails to see if the seal was broken. If not, you're good! If it did break, you can use a new lid to re-seal them, or just put it in the fridge and eat it.