My poor Crock-Pot. Sitting neglected up in a cupboard for years at a time without so much as a glance. For all the time I spend stressing about what’s for dinner, you’d think it would have a prominent place on my countertop. I finally pulled it down a few weeks back and it hasn’t seen the cupboard since. I can’t keep it clean long enough to put it away!
Anyway, on to the real topic of this post, and that is apple butter. Mmm…apple butter. Growing up in Lake Tahoe, it was a fall tradition to drive down to Apple Hill and one of the things we often brought home was apple butter. It’s delicious on toast, biscuits, pancakes, or a spoon. Not only is it easy to make your own apple butter, but there’s an added bonus: it will make your house smell amazing. Forget the candles and potpourri. While it’s cooking you should go outside, just so you can come back in and experience the full effect.
You can use just about any kind of apples for this recipe. Jonagold apples were the star of my batch, Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith or a combination of these will work well. This recipe was tested using a small (2.5 quart) slow cooker, it could easily be doubled if you are using one with a larger capacity. I used a blender to achieve a smoother texture after cooking. (Hey Santa, if you are reading, I want one of these!)
If planning to store your apple butter or use as a gift, you may wish to can it in a boiling water bath. A step by step tutorial on this process can be found here. Without canning, keep refrigerated and use within a month or two.
1 1/2 cups apple cider (or apple juice)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Peel, core and chop apples, add to slow cooker.
2. Add cider/juice, sugar and spices.
3. Cook on high until bubbly.
4. Reduce heat to low and cook 6-8 hours, stirring every hour. When done, the apple butter will have thickened and be a deep brown color.
5. For a smoother texture, blend to break down any remaining chunks of apple.
You know what’s even better than apple butter? Apple Butter Cupcakes of course!