Here's a hint:
It is sooooo that time of year. Have you seen the weighted down, limbs to the ground, apple harvest this year? It is an "on" year for that crispy crew, and it's about time for them to dance on into my kitchen and hop into my slow cooker. My little girl is excited to share this too, and says, "This recipe's for you!!
Here is how we do apple season, at the Smith Farm. You will want to lick the air as it cooks.
Vanilla Apple Pear Butter
2.5 lbs. Gala apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
2.5 lbs. Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and quartered
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean ~or~ 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a food processor fitted with the grate attachment, shred all your prepared apples and pears, in batches, if necessary. Transfer your shreds into your slow cooker. When done, rinse out the food processor bowl, because we are going to use it later. Stir in the 1 cup of packed brown sugar, and the 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Take your cinnamon stick, and nestle that puppy deep into the heart of your mixture. Cover with the lid, and cook on high for 4 hours.
Once it has simmered away for four hours, remove the cinnamon stick, and set it aside. Put the blade tool on your food processor. Transfer the mixture to the food processor, and gently blend, giving short pulses, until smooth. Be very careful, as blending hot stuff can make a big mess or a big ouch! Return your yummy mixture back to the slow cooker, and add your 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, or, if you are using your vanilla bean, split your vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds into the mixture, and give it a big stir. Add back the cinnamon stick to the mixture if you'd like to have your butter on the more spicy side, (keep it out if not), and simmer your mixture on low, uncovered, for 4 more hours giving it a stir every once and awhile to dispel the aroma. Mmmmmm. Once done, remove the cinnamon stick, and let cool before tasting or you *will* burn the roof of your mouth. You can freeze it or refrigerate it. Eat it on graham crackers, or smear it on waffles. Give to your neighbor or surprise your post (wo)man. Or, keep it all to yourself.