This is absolutely my favorite time of year for so many reasons. This year I have been blessed twice to be gifted with apples. The weather in the Midwest has created a bumper, delicious apple crop. A few weeks ago I shared a favorite apple pie recipe and today it is my husband’s favorite–apple butter.
Apple butter makes a wonderful gift for teachers, neighbors and a fun way to say thank you to that special someone. We’ve mentioned before that Kathy and I started working together in the test kitchens at Rival, the Crock-Pot people. A test that we executed on many a day was preparing apple butter in the Crock-Pot, slow cooker. It was designed to determine the approval for plastic lids when they were first introduced. We would simmer the apple butter for days to insure that lids were top quality.
While this recipe may be an “oldie,” it is definitely a keeper. Easy to prepare and the aroma will have those who enter your home in an immediate happy trance.
The ingredients are not listed in amounts, because you will determine how much of each spice and sugar after you have cooked the apples.
Cinnamon bread, biscuits, waffles…..watch out! Apple butter creations are around the corner.
Old Fashioned Apple Butter
14 to 16 apples
2 cups apple cider or apple juice
Wash, peel and core the apples. Cut the apples into quarters and place in the slow cooker. Pour apple cider over the apples. Cover and cook on the Low setting for 10 to 12 hours or until the apples are completely tender (mixture will look like applesauce).
In a large mixing bowl, measure apple mixture in 2 cups increments. For each 2 cups of apple mixture, add 3/4 to 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 teaspoon cloves. Adjust the seasonings to your own taste preference. Continue to measure apples in 2 cup batches, add sugar and spices and stir well. Place into slow cooker, cover and cook on the High setting for 3 to 4 hours. Remove lid and continue to cook on high for about 2 to 3 additional hours or until mixture is thick and the consistency that you prefer.
Pour into jars and refrigerate or spoon into hot, sterilized jars and process in boiling water bath to seal.