Seitan O’Greatness with Mashed Garlic Potatoes With Kale (plus some Apple Butter!)

So now I finally have my paws on some vital wheat gluten I thought it was about time I joined the Seitan O’Greatness parade and made some of my own. If there is anyone out there who *hasn’t* heard of this recipe yet it can be found in the PPK forums and is basically a spicy baked large seitan sausage looking as so:

I only made one change to the recipe and that was to add less black pepper than called for as I was intending to serve it to kids. I even used the recommended amount of cayenne, although when I make this again I will leave it out as Jim found it too spicy (Piggle gummed away at it though and seemed to enjoy it!). I will also only use 1 tbsp of oil in it as I found it a little greasy and there were plenty of other liquids in it to keep it moist.

I made it the night before I wanted to use it as you need to let it fully cool. When it came out of the oven it was a bit spongy when I poked it but by the time it was at room temperature it was much more solid and the next day it was totally solid.

This is how I served it:

I just fried it in a little oil for a minute or so on each side to heat it through. We all really enjoyed the mashed potatoes, they were a nice change from our usual plain ones and can I just say once more how lovely it is to see a 5 year old munching away on green leafy vegetables, perhaps I will give cabbage another go soon and see if he’ll eat it now (Piggle likes it but Jim isn’t so keen). I didn’t make any changes to the potato recipe except perhaps to use a little more kale than called for as I wanted to use up the whole bag I’d had in the vegetable box. The butternut squash was the remainder of the one I used for soup and I just baked it in the oven with a little oil and a tiny sprinkling of brown sugar as I’m out of maple syrup. Piggle absolutely wolfed down the squash (I just cut his squash and seitan up in to little cubes so he could feed himself and I pureed the potatoes for him as gums don’t work so well on leaf vegetables) and Jim ate all of his as well.

On Sunday when I picked the boys up from my sister’s house (it’s where we meet their Dad to do the handover) she and I went out and picked this huge bag of cooking apples from one of her trees

I know I’m going to make some mint jelly from it (which is apple jelly with mint added) when I’ve bought some more sugar but I also had a little craving for apple butter which you can’t seem to find over here. I had a Google and found a recipe on Recipezaar (recipe number 11492) which had 33 positive ratings so I figured it must be ok (a lot of those reviewers had made it multiple times as well). So, I filled up my slow cooker with apples (the recipe says to fill it this full)

There were 17 of them in there (and the bag is still full). I put it on overnight and came down the next morning to nicely cooked down dark brown applesauce (you add vinegar to brown the apples) to which I added a cup of white sugar, a cup of brown sugar, 4 tsps of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg. The recipe calls for cloves rather than nutmeg but cloves are the work of the devil and don’t live in my house so I subbed a flavour I do love. Also, the original recipe intends to put whoever eats this into a diabetic coma as it calls for *3 cups* of white sugar plus the brown… I wanted a little tartness of the apples to come through as well as the apple taste rather than just the taste of sugar so I amended it to suit.

Not very photogenic really!

I boiled it for a few hours with the lid off to get rid of most of the water (I had put it on on high overnight and it should have been on low but it didn’t seem to matter) and the resulting texture is a nice thick one that’s not quite set, just how it should be from my taste memories.

This is what I got, 4 jars of lovely apple butter which was wonderful on my toast this morning!
The fourth jar would have been totally full had I not overfilled the other 3, so I’m calling it 4 jars rather than 3 and a bit!

I have given my sister a jar and my Mother a jar so as soon as I find some kilner type jars for canning I will be making a few more batches of this (apple butter won’t keep like regular jam, especially as I used less sugar so it should really be canned/bottled) as it’s so easy to make the results are just amazing.

Still thinking about what to do with the rest of those apples. If I had spare pie dishes I might make a few and freeze them ready to be used later but I think I only own 1, maybe I will pick a few more up when I go shopping next week along with some pre-made pastry if I’m feeling lazy!

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