Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homemade Apple Butter in the CrockPot

Recently, my family and I went up to Sugarcreek aka Amish country and I purchased a jar of apple butter. It reminded me of how much I loveeee apple butter! But, I'm not about to constantly pay $2-3 a jar to have apple butter.
So, when my grandparents asked me to go a local orchard, I went with them and purchased a peck of apples. It isn't totally apple season yet, but this is the perfect practice I need to develop the perfect apple butter recipe.
You are going to need around 20 apples. This is such a simple recipe and you can tweak it however you like! If you like a stronger cinnamon taste, add more. If you like it sweeter, add more sugar, etc. This is your apple world, so dive right in!

The beginning part is the most tedious. It involves peeling and coring multiple apples (don't throw them away! Look up uses for them besides composting!). It took me 30 minutes to fill up the crockpot. You will want to leave a few extra to add later on or maybe your crockpot is larger than mine. I didn't use the entire peck of apples.

So, anyway, dice up the apples and throw them all in the crockpot. I added about 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup apple juice. Start off with 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp cloves and 1 cup sugar. In the end, I added about a total of 3 cups sugar. But, I suggest to you to slowly add the sugar and cinnamon.
Now.. the secret ingredient... red hot candy! I added about 6 because I like apple butter that has a strong cinnamon flavor.
Now, trust me! This hint came from my grandma who used to help my aunt make apple butter in a copper kettle to sell at the local apple festivals. She does know what she is talking about!

So.. add it all in and turn that crockpot on low. You and your crockpot are about to develop a strong bond for the next 18-24hours. I started it in the afternoon and slowly added more apples as the butter cooked down. Then, I went to bed. It is important to keep the lid on when you aren't stirring. I stirred like once every 30 minutes, tasting to decide if I wanted to add a bit more sugar, cinnamon or cloves.

Andrew stirred it at 5:30 when he went to work then I stirred it when I woke up. I let it cook even more. Finally, about 22 hours later, I decided it was done.
It will stay on the spoon in a nice clump. I spooned most if into a blender and pulsed for a few moments, put back in and spooned it back again and pulsed it again.
And..... this is the result.

Beautiful... creamy.. yummy.. apple butter!

Now, the next step is canning. Prepare the cans as you normally would then fill the jars with 1/4 headspace. Use a water bather and boil for 10 minutes.

Ta-da!! 6 beautiful jars of homemade apple butter! It was super simple and yummy!

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