After the success with pumpkin butter, I wanted to try apple butter. Quite a few years ago I had made some but this time I wanted to try using the slow cooker to avoid all of the stirring and potential for charred apples.
There is lots of recipes for crock pot apple butter on the web. I put several recipes together and cut back a little on sugar - and we loved the result.
Here is how I did it:
Fill crockpot with peeled cored sliced apples. My crock pot held about 5 quart of apples. A mixture of apple varieties is preferred and I used Golden Delicious, York, and Staymen.
Cook apples on low overnight.
In the morning, the apples were soft and the crock pot was only about half full. I mashed them up with a fork and added sugar and seasonings.
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
I cut back the sugar as far as I dared. Many recipes called for far more. We thought this was sweet enough. I was scared to cut back more because the sugar in apple butter is what gives it the caramelized flavor instead of tasting like applesauce.
Cook on low for several hours, stirring occasionally.
By lunch time, the aroma was wonderful! But the apple butter was not thick enough. I placed a knife over the top of the slow cooker to hold the lid slightly open. This allowed the steam to escape. After cooking for several more hours on low, the apple butter was thick and rich! A wooden spoon could be stood up in the middle of the cooker - a sign that it was finished.
You could put the apple butter through the blender or food processor - or just used a hand held stick blender. To me, apple butter doesn't need to be perfectly smooth and skipped this step.
You could freeze or can the apple butter but I plan to give some away and keep the remaining in the fridge where I doubt it will last long! This just shouts for a slice of homemade bread!
Linked to Ultimate Recipe Swap - Apples