What do you when you are now the proud owner of 18 pounds of apples, a prize from a recent over zealous apple picking trip?
Why, you make several batches of apple butter of course. The process was a lot easier than I thought and the result is delicious. Here's my recipe. If you give a try let me know how it turns out.
makes roughly 36 ounces
3 lbs apples, peeled cored and diced small (I used a mix of Winesap and Macoun)
2 cups of sugar (or 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Chinese 5 spice (totally optional, replace with 1/4 tsp. ground clove)
Add all ingredients to a 3 quart slow cooker. Set slow cooker to high and cook for 1 hour. Adjust slow cooker temperature to low and cook for about 10 hours. You may want to prop the lid up with two knives or chopsticks to allow stem to release while cooking. This will allow the butter to thicken faster. If you're home while the butter is cooking give it stir every few hours. I wasn't home while is was cooking and fine without stirring.
After 10 - 11 hours on low have passed, remove lid and stir with a whisk. Allow to cook with the lid off for another hour or two. Once the butter is sufficiently think and you no long see liquid around the inside of the slow cooker your butter should be done. I want mine totally smooth so I blended it with a hand mix for a few seconds.
You apple butter is now ready to enjoy. I stored my Apple Butter is 9 ounce jars and took my first stab at canning without any of the right equipment. It seems to work since the first jar I opened did pop as though it was vacuum sealed but I'm hesitant to share those instructions since I don't want to be responsible for giving you botulism. If you really want to know how I did it and promise not to sue let me know in the comments.
Photo Credits: Michelle Verdugo