I have had a hankering for apple butter lately. My HEB has a poor selection. The only one they stock was full of multi-syllable chemical ingredients, and high fructose corn syrup. I couldn’t bring myself to put it in my cart. When I was a kid, apple butter was one of the many delicious things my mom would make and I would help her with the cooking and canning. So, i decided to make my own apple butter.
There were many different recipes online. I wasn’t looking to go the whole canning route, as I just wanted to make a small batch. Some recipes started with apple sauce. But I wanted to go as close to the good old fashioned way as possible. I found a recipe that sounded minimalistic and simple. I halved the original recipe, and it yielded 2 pint jars (i recycled some Bonne Maman 13 oz jam jars) of applebutter, which have a fridge life of about 2 weeks. Or could be frozen up to a month.
I’ll start with a picture of the result, to get your mouth watering, and follow with the recipe:
You’ll need a crock-pot and an immersion blender. Here’s the before:
You may want to use a variety of apples. I used mostly gala, which are on the sweet side, and mixed in a few red delicious which are less sweet. I also have one of these awesome contraptions, which makes peeling/coring/slicing the apples a breeze:
Crock-pot Applebutter (yields 2 pints)
3 1/4 lbs apples, peeled, cored & sliced
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 T ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 T vanilla extract
Place apple slices in crock pot. In medium bowl, mix sugars, and spices. Sprinkle dry mix over the apples and stir gently to coat apples and combine.
Cook on low, covered, for 12 hours.
Stir in vanilla extract and puree with immersion blender until smooth. For thicker applebutter, can cook on low another hour with lid ajar.
Cool and place in jars. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.