You have two ways to make this dish - overnight in a slow cooker, or more quickly in a Dutch oven over the stove.
Either way, combine all the ingredients together in the cooking vessel of your choice: 1 cup packed organic brown sugar, 1/2 cup agave nectar (in place of honey), 1/4 apple cider; 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1/8 tsp. ground mace, and 2 and 1/2 pounds peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped apples.
Good apple varieties for this spread include: Granny Smith, Northern Spy, Rome, Winesap, and York. You can use all of one kind or mix and match. I used Rome apples.
If you're using a slow cooker, then cook on LOW for 10 hours. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl, and discard any pulp. Return to the slow cooker and cook for 1 and 1/2 hours on HIGH, stirring occasionally - the mixture will be thick by the end.
If you use the stovetop, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Press through a sieve over a bowl as stated above, then return to the Dutch oven and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
When it's done, you can cover and chill the spread for up to a week. 1/4 cup is 140 calories and is delicious on English muffins or toast for breakfast.
Personally, I used the stovetop method, but that's because I halved the recipe, and was afraid the quantity wouldn't be sufficient for a slow cooker (which generally has to be at least halfway full). So mine was technically 'Afternoon Apple Butter'! A couple more things that worked out differently than expected for me:
a) perhaps my fine-mesh sieve was too finely-meshed, because almost nothing was making it through to the bowl. As a result, I mashed the mixture to a pulp, but used it all, without discarding anything.
Then, b) when I returned it to the saucepan for the final 15 minutes, it really already seemed thick enough. As a result, I only simmered on very low for about 7 minutes. My advice then is to watch this recipe carefully and judge it by eye.
apple cider $1.29
Rome apples $2.99
The Vegan Pantry
- Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
- Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
- Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
- Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
- Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
- Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html