Down at Jones’ this afternoon, I ran into my friend Kathy, who lives out in Spink. Here apple tree was massively productive this year, and feeding her horses only one apple per day, she predicted, would make them last about twenty-five years (the apples, not the horses).
So, she’s making apple butter. I asked if she was using the oven technique to cook it down to the desired thickness without scorching, as is usual with the stovetop method. But instead of the oven method, she related to me a technique she’d found on the internet:
She’s using her slow cooker/crockpot, with knives holding the cover open just slightly, to let the steam out and allow the butter to cook down without spattering everywhere. It takes a long time, she said, but I’m guessing this is a heck of a lot more energy efficient than using the oven, which can also take several hours.
Cool! Now if I can remember this for next year’s butter and paste-making, I’ll have yet another tool in my food preservation kit, and one that allows me to make paste at the same time as I’m canning other products without it being in the way.