The perfect apple butter is velvety smooth…with a perfectly spiced apple flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness to keep you wanting more……a perfect rich golden brown color…a rich apple flavor..the perfect autumn scents of apples, cloves, allspice, lemon, cinnamon and vanilla.
As far as what apple butter is, apple butter is a concentrated version of apple sauce…almost like a spreadable apple pie….an apple pie spread bursting with sweet apple and warm spice flavors…made by cooking apples in your slow cooker for a very long time…until the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter into a thick, smooth, intense apple=flavored spread that is perfect for spreading on toast and biscuits and English muffins and scones…stirring into your oatmeal, Greek yogurt or cottage cheese…served over pancakes or biscuits, graham crackers…baking cupcakes and breads…making savory dishes such as herbed chicken or pork…and best of all, simply grabbing a spoon and digging right in.
Apple butter has the same basic ingredients and is very similar to applesauce, but is more concentrated because the apples have cooked for longer.
9 medium-sized apples…peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces…using several different varieties of apples will give you the best flavor.
Other spices as desired
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Slice the apples into 1/4″ pieces. Don’t worry about peeling them first because most of the flavor is actually in the peel itself.
Place the apples m your slow cooker or a large pot.
Stir together sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and any other spices that you want to add—such as allspice and nutmeg in a medium-sized bowl until well-combined.
Pour sugar mixture over apples. Toss together.
If cooking on the stove, cook uncovered on high heat for about two hours. If cooking in a crockpot, let cook either on high for about five hours…or on low for eight to ten hours.
Regardless which method you are using, be sure to stir the mixture every now and then. This will make sure that the apple butter is not burning on the bottom of the pot. Cook until the apples are tender and dark brown.
Once your apples have finished cooking, you need to puree the mixture. You can do this with an immersion blender. Another option would be to transfer the mixture to a regular blender and blend until smooth. You can either leave the apple butter slightly chunky or keep blending it until it is perfectly smooth.
Supposedly you can can this, but honestly I’ve never canned anything before…so you’ll have to google that one on your own. For those of us that don’t have a clue how to can foods, much less open a can, you can store the apple butter in your fridge for several weeks to a month. You could also spoon the apple butter into small, 1-cup freezer containers and pull them out as needed.