Make an autumn-inspired condiment this year with fresh apples picked from our local orchard. It's usually called apple butter but it doesn't contain any butter, so I like calling it a spread! Slow cooking brings out the natural sweetness and caramelizes the apples, turning them into a deep, rich brown. Try it in the morning with toast or swirled into Greek yogurt.
Homemade Apple Spread
3 lbs. apples (sweet such as McIntosh, Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tbsp honey
Peel, core and roughly chop the apples and place in a large saucepan, add cinnamon, allspice and apple cider and honey; bring to a simmer over low heat uncovered. Stir occasionally to prevent apples from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue simmering for 3 hours (uncovered) until apples are soft and the mixture is thick.
Remove pan from stove, let cool uncovered for about 15 - 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender or food processor, process apple mixture until smooth and buttery. If spread is not thick enough, return to pan over low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until desired thickness.
Let apple spread cool for 1 hour, then transfer to glass jars and cover tightly with lids. Store in refrigerator for up to two to three weeks.
(Note: To make this in a slow cooker, add all ingredients and cook on low for six to eight hours; blend as directed above.
Serve on fresh multigrain bread, toast, muffins, pancakes and waffles. Use as a condiment to roasted pork or turkey dinner.