A slow cooker is one kitchen appliance that I never owned, nor thought I would ever need, until this month’s #RecipeReDux. The challenge: make something in a slow cooker that is not the requisite casserole-type dish. This wasn’t really a problem for me, as I had never used a slow cooker, and as such, don’t have a repertoire of slow cooker meals that, I suppose, someone more versed in slow cookery, does have.
I just went with the seasons here. I’ve been eating an awful lot of apple butter lately. More than my grocery bill would care to admit. Justin and I also went apple (and beet!) picking recently, and the refrigerator was full to the brim. While eating apples in their natural state is lovely, it’s much more fun to transform them into something completely different.
Because it’s fall, I’ve also been on a pumpkin kick, not that this should be a surprise to anyone. Apple pumpkin butter sounded like a great way to combine the two fall flavors I’ve been loving the most this season. A nice dose of vanilla and just a hint of maple syrup round out the caramel undertones of this divine spread. I added a bit of coconut milk to the mix, as well, which makes this just a bit richer than your average apple butter.
I have no qualms about eating this spread by the spoonful (with a bit of almond butter, too). But if you’re not into that kind of thing (you should be) it’s also wonderful stirred into a warm bowl of oatmeal, spread on toast, or, my second favorite use, as a dip for roasted vegetables. Try it, you’ll thank me.
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 6 medium apples (I used honeycrisp), cored and diced (about 5 cups)
- 3/4 cup light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker set to 10 hours on low. Check every so often to ensure the mixture is not burning. Cook for an additional 4 hours on high, or until you reach your desired consistency.
- Once the mixture is done cooking, allow to cool fully, then transfer to the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth, or leave it untouched for a more rustic texture.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Do you own a slow cooker? What are you favorite slow cooker recipes? Any unusual flavors you’ve been loving this autumn?