Tis’ the season for overindulgence! It’s the holiday season, and everywhere is an amazing recipe for pumpkin. Even though apples are plentiful, recipes for apples seem to get pushed to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely love a good pumpkin recipe, but apples have my heart!
Apple butter has to be one of my absolute favorites! It really can be used on so many things: biscuits, toast, pancakes…by itself…Really though, I love it! I think the best part is that it’s also just soooo easy.
What you will need:
~5lbs of Apples – pick tart apples you use for pie making. (I used Jonagolds and Jazz)
~1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
~1/4 Teaspoon of Cloves
~1/2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
~1 Cup of Brown Sugar
~1/4 Cup of Raw Sugar
~1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
~A pinch of salt
Start with about 5 pounds of apples, give or take a few ounces. Remember to use tart apples, such as Granny Smith or jonagolds.
Core, peel and slice all of your apples. This is going to take a bit of time. I would really suggest picking up an amazing apple corer. They aren’t too pricey and save you a ton of time and effort. It still takes a bit of time, but nothing like doing it by hand.
Place your freshly cored and peeled apples into the crock-pot.
Then add your brown sugar, raw sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Mix it all together until all your apples are coated.
Cook on low for 10 hours. I mixed my apply butter a few times because it just allows for even cooking, especially if your crock-pot gets a little too warm.
For the remaining 3 hours or so, I suggest taking the top off of the crock-pot. This will allow the water in the apples to evaporate. The apples will thicken up nicely, which is what you want for apple butter.
Once the apples have been cooking for 10 hours or so, they will be basically turning into a mush all on their own. To take them all the way to apple butter form, grab your emulsion blender – and if you don’t have an emulsion blender I highly recommend you put it on your Christmas list, it’s one of the best gadgets in the kitchen. Anyway, you take your emulsion blender and you blend the apples until smooth.
Place them in whatever containers you like and begin devouring! Apple butter should be eaten within 7 days of being made. Also, feel free to freeze it or try your hand at canning.
A few notes:
- Apple butter contains enough acidity to can. If you are interested in canning apple butter, place into half pint or pint jars and can just like you would apple sauce. 10 minutes at sea level is how long you should expect to can it. If you want to learn more about canning, I suggest buying the Ball Canning Book (which is basically the canning bible.)
- Because you are basically baking all the moisture out of the apples, once the apple butter is done cooking, you won’t have a ton of apple butter. 5lbs of apples makes about 4 pints, maybe even a little less.
- If you don’t have tart apples on hand, or, you’re like me and you like to use the stuff that’s on sale, just use less sugar. In fact, you can probably use half of the sugar in the recipe and it would still taste great!