Crock Pot Apple Butter
We did an experiment this past weekend. We made 2 crock pots of apple butter. One with homemade apple sauce that was no longer pretty (I tried to can apple sauce with too little sugar in it, I think) and the other with fresh quartered apples. My favorite was the one with fresh quartered apples. I am sure it was in part though to the fact that it had more sugar in it while it was cooking down. Who doesn’t like sugar now?
As my kids and hubbs sat around the table Saturday afternoon eating warm apple butter straight out of the crock pot on homemade bread that magically appeared from the freezer, my middle child said, “Mom, I like fall-aday (I think that’s fall and Saturday in the same word) can we have this all the time?” Why, yes son I would love to make fresh warm apple butter for you every fall if that is one of those ‘sweet memories’ you will take with you in your back pack of life. He’s also the same son who at 3 years old loves fresh baked pumpkin pie. I have no idea how that became a favorite because I don’t make pie very often but son of mine I am happy to oblige!
Side note: you might like apple butter on homemade bread with a slice of cheese on top. That’s how my hubbs likes it. 🙂
The beauty in both of these recipes is you can adjust it to the items you have on hand
We used 17 apples 🙂 half small (don’t know what kind they were) and half large yellow delicious, because that’s what we had on hand
2 cups of sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Cut up all the apples with the peelings on. Throw them into a large crock pot (if you don’t have a large one, cut the recipe in half) and add the above ingredients. Turn the crock pot on high with the lid off for 6 hours. Stirring occasionally. At the 6 hour mark, reduce the heat to low and place the lid on. When the apples have completely cooked down and have this nice golden brown color you are ready to blend your applesauce in the blender. It makes for a super smooth consistency so if apple butter should not be super smooth to you, you will probably not like this recipe but you have options. :-). I blended my apples while they were still piping hot, rinsed my pint jars in hot, hot water, heated up canning lids and then filled the jars with the steamy hot apple butter. Sealed them up tight and turned them upside down and with out even realizing it, I had just canned apple butter. I didn’t start out thinking I would can some, I had thought that I would make it to give away as gifts this fall but then canned apple butter down in my pantry is such a pretty thing. So glad I did it that way! Yields: 6 pints.
Recipe # 2
2 quarts of applesauce (it was lightly sweetened when I canned it but not very sweet 🙂
1 cup sugar
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
Place in crock pot on high for 3 hours, with lid off. Reduce heat to low and place lid on.
Add the 3 hour mark add:
2 cinnamon sticks, broken up
1 tsp whole cloves
Place these into a coffee filter or cheesecloth, tie it up with some thread and throw into the apple sauce mixture. You don’t have to place it in a coffee filter but it is so much easier to clean up if it’s in a filter (you will have to fish out all those little cloves and they are hard to see).
Just let the yummy goodness, simmer away. Stir frequently only if you want the smells to warft thru your house :-). You can’t help yourself, there is something about smelling that yummi-ness that makes you want to stir it often. Your apple butter is ready when it’s a deep, rich, thick brown. You can also can it using the same above method I just wrote about. This yields 4 pints. Side note: you may want to add more sugar. I was trying to do one without using too much sugar. I like it but I am not going to lie, the above recipe that has 2 cups of sugar in it is super yummy!
So if your wanting to bring some yummy fall goodness to your table this weekend……why not try some apple butter.