Have I mentioned that Fall is my favorite season? Truthfully my favorite season is September-December. Crisp air, fresh apples, colored leaves, bonfires, cozy sweatshirts, hot tea, spiced cider and hot chocolate meld into holiday baking, the smell of fresh pine, shopping for gifts and celebrating with the whole family. Seriously, I can’t think of anything I enjoy more. At the end of August my father-in-law brought me a box of early season apples and I decided to try making Crock-pot Apple Butter. Growing up in Amish Country I love apple butter but for some reason I’ve never made any myself.
I started printing and comparing recipes to get an idea for proportions. Right away I noticed that they are all pretty similar with just small differences. Christina from Dessert for Two used half sugar and half honey in her Slow Cooker Apple Butter and I like the idea of honey as a liquid instead of the apple cider, vinegar or water that I saw in others. I used white sugar this time but I will probably use brown next time. The apples I had were deliciously tart so the sweetness worked for me. If I make it with sweeter apples I would cut back on the sugar a little.
I also wanted to kick up the spicy flavor so I used more cinnamon than the usual 1 tsp and I think it’s perfect. Connor tasted it and decided we should eat Apple Butter instead of applesauce! We’re now experimenting to see how many things we can put apple butter in or on. It really is one of the easiest things I’ve made this fall. Plus the house smelled absolutely delicious for the whole day!
I recommend making two batches of this because it will make a wonderful gift for the holidays. Now that I think about it, I have some leftover Jonathons pining on my counter right now. I will take my own advice and make a few jars tomorrow for my holiday gifts.
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Crock-pot Apple Butter
- 3 pounds (1 1/2 kg) of apples (I like a tart variety)
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
- 1/3 cup sugar (white or brown)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Peel, core and chop your apples.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock-pot, then add the apple chunks and stir to combine.
Cook on low for about 4 hours, then stir and cook for 1-2 more hours.
At this point your apple butter should be getting thick and just have small pieces of apple in it.
Puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender.
If you want it thicker you can continue to cook it down for longer.
Put it in jars and start eating!
Apple butter can be canned or frozen for up to a year.
Adapted from Dessert for Two. +++ I like my apple butter well spiced, but you can start with 1 tsp cinnamon and add more later if you're not sure how much you want. +++ If you are using a sweet variety of apple you might want to start with less sugar +++ The Teatime Baker - www.teatimebaker.com