A trip to the apple orchard is a penultimate fall activity. Picking fresh apples, sipping hot cider; maybe enjoying an apple treat. But our latest excursion also resulted in a copious supply of apples. So what to do? Make apple butter.
If you never had apple butter, you are missing a sublime experience. It’s like autumn in a little jar. Sweet and tart, with the taste of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of cloves. I like to spread the stuff on pancakes and french toast. For my wife, it’s an integral component of her Danish Aebleskiver.
Apple butter isn’t difficult, in fact its easier than making most jams and jellies. If you have a slow cooker, the process is almost automatic. Basically fill your slow cooker with cored sliced apples (leave the skins on). Mine will hold about 5 lbs of fruit. Let cook on high for about 3 hours until mushy. Then puree with a blender or food processor and continue to cook on low with the cover askew for another 5-6 hours, or until it reaches a thick consistency. Add spices, hot pack into jars, and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. That’s all there is to it. Couldn’t be easier.
Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Makes about 3-4 pints of butter
- 5-6 lbs Apples (any baking apple will do)
- 1/2 – 1 cup Brown Sugar (too taste)
- 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Core and slice apples, leave the skins on, and fill slow cooker. Place lid on and cook on high about 3 hours, until apples become very mushy.
- Blend into a smooth puree with blender or food processor. Return to the slow cooker, leave the lid askew, and cook on low four about 5-6 hours, or until thickened.
- Add sugar, spices, and lemon juice. (adjust sugar and spice to taste, but don’t change lemon juice amount).
- Hot pack into half pint or pint jars and process using the hot water bath method for fifteen minutes.