Slow Cooker Star Anise Apple Butter

This butter is a delicious and a little fancy way to use your apples. I always make a lot of standard applesauce with the apple harvest around this time of the year but it’s good to make a small batch of something special and different. This butter has a complex flavour and smell and it gives your taste buds something to experience when eaten spread on bread. I usually pair it with some fresh fruit on the side but I have also tried it with a slice of cheese on top and as weird as this sounds, it was still very enjoyable.

 

 

Ingredients:

7 standard, supermarket size apples

2 whole stars anise

1/4 tsp dried ginger

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/2 cup sugar

7 dried apricots

2 Tbsp lemon juice

 

First core and chop apples into small cubes. I don’t peel them.

Place apples in the slow cooker, chop the apricots finely, which is annoying because they are small and stick to the knife but you’ll manage (I did).

Add apricots and all of the spices, lemon juice as well as sugar. Stir to distribute the spices evenly.

Cook on high for 5 hours.

anise butter

Once cooked, take the two stars anise out and use an immersion (stick) blender to process the mixture into a pulp.

Next, put it back on to cook before you start canning, just to make sure that you are canning very hot butter, straight from the cooker.

With canning, I use hot jars, which I kept in an oven preheated to 100C/212F for at least 10 minutes (sometimes longer if I forget that they are there). I also give the lids a bath in hot water from the kettle.

I pick them out one by one and fill with the hot butter, leaving  a little bit of space on top. I close them immediately and set on the counter to let them cool to room temperature over the next couple of hours.

anise butter

Soon you should hear the lids popping as they are sealing. If any of them doesn’t seal and the lid is not concave, treat it as open, keep in the fridge and use within a couple of days.

I have been canning fruit this way for a while and I haven’t had any issues but if you look online there is a myriad of ways to do it and some ways are safer than this one, as they carry less risk of some bacteria surviving in the jar. Pick your own method and be safe!

anise butter

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Slow Cooker Barberry Brown Rice Goodness

If you’ve followed this blog long enough, you have probably noticed by now that I seem to have a thing for weird berries. There were lingonberry muffins and now I’m on to the barberry. It can be gotten dried in a health store or in an imported food store where the food comes from the Middle East. The barberry itself doesn’t look like much and doesn’t give a mountain of flavour but it’s very nutritious and as much as it might seem a rare one here in Norway, people in Iran like is so much that 5,000 tonnes of barberries are produced each year over there. They must be on to something because I learnt to like the barberry rice and miss the barberries whenever I forget to add them. This is the slow cooker version – not really a meal, just a side dish but still nutritious and delicious.

This recipe feeds 5 or 6 people. Halve it if you need to.

brown rice

Ingredients:

2 cups brown rice

5 cups water

1/2 cup single cream

1/4 cup dried barberries

salt to taste

a pinch of marjoram or oregano

 

Wash the rice in a sieve and place in the slow cooker. Add water, cream, salt and herbs.

Cook on high for 3 hours.

Add barberries and cook for another 30 minutes or until soft and nice to eat.

Enjoy with meat or whatever else you like with rice.

brown rice

 

Slow Cooked Adzuki Bean Dinner

This is a bean dish that I make when I want something filling, very tasty and hearty. I’m also struggling with adding enough beans and pulses to my diet so this is certainly a way to do it, as you will get around ¼ cup of these delicious adzuki beans per portion.

adzuki bean dinner

I make this recipe in a slow cooker, but I am sure you can adapt it to stove top cooking. My dear friend who is American told me about the miracle of slow cooker some years ago, I ordered a basic one then and never looked back.

adzuki bean dinnerSlow Cooked Adzuki Bean Dinner

Ingredients:
1 cup dry adzuki beans (soaked overnight)
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
8 strips (around 170g) of bacon
1 medium yellow or red pepper
½ medium courgette (around 150g)
½ cup tomato puree
½ cup ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste

Set your slow-cooker on the countertop and put it on the high setting.
Chop up onion and garlic and add to the pot.
In the meantime, take your soaked adzuki beans and start cooking them in a small pot of water for 15 minutes while you are chopping the rest of the ingredients.
Dice the bacon slices into 1cm pieces, cube pepper and courgette and add all of those to the slow cooker as well.
While the beans are still boiling on high, add the ketchup, soy sauce, cayenne pepper and tomato puree to the bacon and vegetable medley and stir until blended.
Drain the beans and add them to the slow cooker.
Add salt to taste, remembering that you have already added salty soy sauce, close the lid and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours.

I like this dish because as much as the ingredients and flavours are well blended when it’s ready, there is still a nice, slight bite to the beans.
This amount serves 4, I serve it with a slice of bread.

Enjoy! And I know you will!

© Julia Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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