In the fall, old-fashioned apple butter is magical! The caramelization of the sugar in the apples, combined with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, creates a traditional rich, sweet and smooth classic apple butter. This simple recipe cooks up low and slow in your slow cooker – perfect on croissants, warm biscuits, pancakes, brie or ice cream!
September has always been my favorite month...the kids are back in school, the leaves are just starting to think about turning bright yellow, orange and red, and the apples are ready for picking in the orchard!
Our whole house has been filled with the aroma of baking apples and cinnamon, which is the best scent in the world, don't you think? Apple pies, cinnamon caramel apple rolls, apple bread...
At least for this month we'll celebrate apples - next month it will be all about pumpkin everything!
You may wonder what the difference is between Apple Butter and Apple Sauce, and the answer is quite simple - not much! The ingredients are the same, and they have exactly the same flavor, but Apple Butter is cooked longer so that it thickens up.
We love homemade Apple Butter on warm buttered toast, muffins, pancakes, or drizzled on ice cream. I also love using Apple butter in some seriously wonderful savory recipes that I'll be sharing again with you.
For apple butter, soft apples work the best because they cook down faster. I usually combine several varieties for the best flavor: Braeburn, Cortland, Fuji, McIntosh, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious all work well. Some varieties and crops of apples are sweeter than others, so you may need to adjust your sugar based on the variety you select.
This old-fashioned Apple Butter is just exploding with fresh apple flavor and perfect autumn spices. Whether you like it chunky or smooth, you'll want to make this recipe over and over again!
HOW I MAKE THIS:
1. Weigh and wash apples, and then peel, core and chunk into pieces. Place in slow cooker.
2. Combine sugar and spices in a small bowl; sprinkle over top of apple pieces. Sprinkle with vanilla extract and stir until well combined.
3. Cook covered in crockpot on high for 1 hour, then reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 10 hours. If you prefer a thicker consistency, remove the cover for the last few hours and continue to cook on the low setting. Stir every couple of hours if you can’t resist!
4. The apple butter will thicken and caramelize into a dark brown as it cooks. Remove cover and let it cool to room temperature.
5. If you want a smooth apple butter, use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until smooth, or puree in small batches in a blender.
6. Store the apple butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze in small containers.
YIELD: about 4 pints
*For apple butter, soft apples work the best because they cook down faster. I usually combine several varieties for the best flavor: Braeburn, Cortland, Fuji, McIntosh, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious all work well.
Originally posted September 2012, revised and reposted September 2018.
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