Sunday, September 9, 2012

Apple Butter (slow cooker)

Yum

I love Apple Butter!  It's like a right of passage, as summer gives way to fall, and leaves begin to change colors and fall, one simply must make apple butter. There's something wonderful about the spicy smell as its cooking that just says "yes it's fall!"


Many times I make this in a slow cooker, but you can also cook it low and slow on top of the stove. Either way works well, you just have to stir it more often when on the stove top to keep it from burning.


Recipe
Ingredients

5 1/2 pounds apples, cored - no need to peel (or 4 quarts homemade applesauce)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar/juice/cider
2 cups brown sugar
1 tbls. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg

Method
Core apples to remove core and seeds, no need to peel. Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves allspice and nutmeg. Pour the mixture over the apples in the slow cooker and mix well.

Cover and cook on high 2 hours.

Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown (prop lid up slightly by laying a wooden spoon across one end of the slow cooker, resting the lid on top of the spoon during the last 2-3 hours of cooking time).

For a smoother apple butter, blend cooked apple butter in a blender before storing. Apple butter is done when you can stand a spoon up in it.

Spoon finished apple butter into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate, freeze, or can it.

**If cooking on the stove top, cook over low heat, stirring often, 6-8 hours or until desired thickness. 

Canning
Fill 8 oz. jars with hot apple butter leaving a 1/4-inch head-space. Process jars in a boiling water bath 10 minutes.

Cooks note - The peels of the apple contain a lot of taste and pectin so I always use them. Apple Butter will reduce in half approximately when cooking down, so if you start with 4 quarts of applesauce, you'll end up with 2 quarts or slightly less. I usually process mine in 8 oz jelly jars and it yields 6-7 jars.

Don't forget to try this Apple Butter Cake!


Enjoy,
Mary

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