For my parents this turned out to be a great year for apples, Red Delicious, and we brought plenty of them back with us to Chicago. They've never used pesticides on the fruit, which is fantastic, so we were ready to gobble them up. However, I knew we'd never get through a huge bag of them and I didn't feel like making a dessert. The solution was to make apple butter, my first time ever!
It's so easy that there is hardly a recipe for it. You could do this on the stove, but I prefer the slow cooker as it is completely hands off.
Apples, peeled, cored and sliced (or chopped)---you'll need enough to fill your crockpot to the point that the lid almost doesn't fit.
2 tsp cinnamon
Other spices (ginger, cloves, nutmeg)--totally optional, I didn't use them because I wanted a very mild butter
Contrary to some beliefs, apple butter doesn't have any butter in it.
Combine the ingredients above in a slow cooker, and let it run 10-15 hours or so. I started mine at 6pm one day and turned it off around 9am the next morning.
At this point you can puree the mixture, or store it is as with tiny chunks of apple (I didn't mind the chunks). I have yet to learn how to heat process anything in jars, so I simply filled 3 jars of apple butter and stored them in the fridge.
This is great on just about anything, like toast...!