I have couple tips for you when attempting to buy alcohol for canning projects.
1. Know what you want going in, because there’s a chance that your store may not have any idea what it is that you’re looking to do. You’re also going to avoid getting home with a bottle of white wine and thinking, oh, what was it that I thought was such a great idea again?
2. Don’t pay only half attention, wear your letters for a frat you haven’t been active in close to a decade and then wonder why they’re looking at you side-eyed. That confession is probably enough to get me stripped of my letters but then again, not active in close to decade. So. As one of my fellow brothers put it, to be fair, I could have been standing on my head and balancing a ball on my nose and they really shouldn’t have cared.
Anywho, my mythical bottomless bottle of Fireball hit bottom this weekend. It was a grand time making it happen-and there were many people involved in that act, don’t worry. But that left me suddenly wanting to spike apple butter with whiskey. Because I love spiking winter fruit with whiskey. And because you only want what you know longer have.
I have to admit that what I brought home from my adventurous trip to the liquor store was some small brand Canadian whiskey that I’ve never heard of before. I ask at the store for a reason. This project was pretty straight forward-a batch of crockpot apple butter with a couple solid glugs [the scientific measurement] of whiskey, some water, a shake or two of pumpkin pie spice and some sugar.
*What the store said about the whiskey-you can actually go pretty cheap on this one because you want to play up the apples, not OMG whiskey and oh yeah apples. Don’t go with the cheapest brand in the house but something that’s slightly rough will probably actually work better than the good stuff.
Crockpot Apple Butter with Whiskey
3/4 cup sugar
pumpkin pie spice
One of the beautiful things about apple butter-or fruit butters in general-is that they’re so elastic. There’s very little measurement involved but it also means that you may have problems if you want to know exactly how much product you’re getting in the end.
I peeled, cored, and very rough chopped apples for about 15 minutes (or as long as I could stand). I placed them in my large crockpot along with a half pint jar of water and two glugs of whiskey.
I cooked them on high, covered, for half an hour then on low overnight. Once I got up I propped the crockpot open with a chopstick and stirred in 3/4 cup white sugar (I’m running low on raw) and a couple good shakes of pumpkin pie spice. I let it cook on high propped open while I prepped and sterlized half pint and quarter pint jars.
I processed the butter for 15 minutes. This batch gave me just over 2 1/2 pints butter.
Taste: mildly spicy with a kick of whiskey and acid on the backside. I probably would have upped the sugar just slightly but I think this will be nice with cheese and bread for fall and winter entertaining.
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