Rita slow cooker salted caramel pear and apple butter


Makes four pints

Ingredients

•3.5 pounds apples, unpeeled, but cored and cut up

•3.5 pounds pears, unpeeled, but cored and cut up

•1/4 cup water

•6 tablespoons lemon juice

•2 cups dark brown sugar

•1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste [or extract - or a spent vanilla bean pod]

•1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

1.Place all ingredients into a large slow cooker [6-8 quarts]. Turn the slow cooker on low and cover. Walk away for twelve hours.

2.Now return to the slow cooker. Using an immersion blender or potato masher, puree the fruit mixture until smooth.

3.Prop the lid partially ajar using a wooden spoon or chopstick. Keep the slow cooker on low. Let cook for up to twelve hours.

4.Around eight hours in the second cycle, return, stir and check the taste and consistency. [You can adjust the salt, sugar, and add any spices if you'd like then.] I like to let the fruit butter get very dark and cooked down, but you can adjust to your liking. My final product cooked the full 24 hours.

5.Store in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks or water bath process. Ladle the butter in to hot, sanitized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.