Apple butter is one of those foods that reminds me of my grandmother — my mom’s mom. She was the kindest woman with the BEST laugh. She was grandma. She was always cooking up something good in the kitchen or baking lots of cookies for the grandkids – oh how she loved to spoil us with sweets when we were little. ANYWAY, one Fall day, my brother and I were over at their house and she was making us some toast and asked if we would like apple butter. I hesitantly said yes, not knowing what it was. When I saw my perfectly toasted bread topped with this brown substance, I was not sure what to think…but not wanting to be rude, I tried a bite. And in that moment, I was an apple butter fan.
Fast forward 25 years later, my mom and I took the boys to the apple orchard last weekend to pick some apples. Zach was an apple picking PRO and we came home with a TON of apples. What was I going to do with ALL of these apples! After searching different options for apple recipes, I landed on apple butter – yup – that’s what I was going to make! I washed all of my apples and used my awesome Dial-a-Slice apple slicer (it makes small slices AND big slices depending on the setting – thanks mom and dad!), started throwing ingredients into my slow cooker…I knew I wanted to create a pumpkin apple butter without using sugar so I could make it 21 Day Fix approved – I was a little nervous and just hoped for the best!
We left for a bit to go to the park and when we returned home, OH MY GOODNESS! The aroma of FALL enveloped me as I walked in from the garage. My house smelled amazing! The gorgeous brown hue of the apple butter was taking shape and the apples were ready to be blended. I used my immersion blender to blend the apples until the pumpkin apple butter was smooth. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, I HIGHLY recommend it! This is the one I use – it’s nothing super fancy, but it gets the job done!! I use it for soups too – it is a nice little tool to have in the kitchen and also fairly inexpensive!!) The pumpkin apple butter wasn’t QUITE thick enough, so I added some more apples and continued cooking it until it was to my liking.
I had Zach taste this first. He was hesitant (as I was around his age) but he took a bite. His eyes lit up and he immediately asked for more. Noah wanted in on the action, too. It was a hit with the boys. Then I had Basili (my husband) try it. He was impressed and enjoyed it as well. The next day, mom came over to watch the boys for me, so I had her try it. This was the true test. I watched as she took a spoonful to taste what I had made. She looked at me, smiled and said…’YUP! That’s apple butter alright!’ PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS!!!
This recipe made a little over 4 mason jars of pumpkin apple butter. Now WHAT are you going to do with ALL of that Pumpkin Apple Butter? Here are some ideas for you!
1. Spread for Toast – in this case I would call it a condiment for the 21 Day Fix unless you use A LOT.
2. Spread it over this delicious 21 Day Fix Pumpkin Scone from my friend Jamie Callahan over at Adventures of a Shrinking Princess – have yourself a PUMPKIN EXPLOSION for breakfast – your tastebuds will thank you!
3. Pumpkin Apple Butter Shakeology – YOU HEARD ME! 1 scoop of Chocolate or Vanilla Shakeology, 1/3 cup pumpkin apple butter, a little cashew milk, some water and lots of ice – blend until smooth and enjoy your AMAZING SHAKE!
4. Tie a gift tag with around the lid with some pretty Fall ribbon and give a jar to your friend, neighbor or family member as a gift.
5. Pumpkin Apple Butter Cookies – I am working on a recipe now and will update you when I land on one I like! 🙂
6. For a savory dish, use this as a topping or glaze for a pork chop or ham.
SO MANY GOOD AND DELCIOUS OPTIONS!
- 14 small apples (or 8 large)
- 2 cups water
- 2 T cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 T nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 (14.5 oz) can pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- Slice the apples and place them into your slow cooker, with the skins
- Add all ingredients
- Stir to coat and cover
- Cook on low for about 8 hours
- Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. The texture should be fairly thick, not runny
- Transfer to mason jars and enjoy!
- 1/2 cup = 1 Purple or count as a Condiment if using sparingly
- *Depends on HOW you are using it. If you are only using a couple of tablespoons, count it as a condiment. If you are using it in your shake, for example, I would count it as a Purple.