Monday, June 25, 2012

Homemade Apple Butter Recipe

The weekend before last, even though it was 96 degrees outside (and mid-80s inside), my house smelled like fall. I spent Friday and Saturday making and canning apple butter. In hindsight, I'd look at the weather forecast better before I started, because it made my house hot AND muggy on Saturday with all the water boiling! I do NOT do humidity well... I've lived in the Bay Area in California my whole life and I'm used to pretty temperate weather.

This is a Crockpot Apple Butter recipe, adapted from Food Network.

Peel, core and chop 3.5 lbs of Granny Smith and Gala apples. The recipe calls for cutting into small chips, but I gave up quickly and ran them through my food processor on the grater mode. 

Add 2-47 ounce jars of unsweetened applesauce, 4 cups of sugar, 1 1/2 cups apple juice, 1 TB cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves and 3/4 tsp allspice. Stir well and turn Crockpot on low and cover overnight (or for 8-10 hours).

This is what it looks like after 
about 10 hours on Low.
 The recipe says to leave it chunky, but I like it smoother and ran it through my immersion blender. You could also do it in batches in a regular blender. Add the zest of 1/2 a lemon. Uncover and cook for about 12 more hours. It's best to prop it open or turn the lid sideways so it's partially uncovered, because it splatters.

When it's done, it's reduced by about half.

To see if it's done, put a spoonful on a plate. Let sit for a couple minutes. If it runs it's not done. Let it cook some more.

Once it's done it will not run along the plate and it will maintain its height when you put a spoonful down.

Sterilize your jars, lids and rings. Here's some info on canning apple butter, since I'm not an expert by any means!

Fill the jars, boil again and let them cool. The original recipe says it yields 12 pint jars, but it really makes about 9 or 10 half pint jars. 

Delicious on toast, peanut butter sandwiches, pancakes or waffles, scones, and tons of other things (and the kids love to eat if with a spoon, since it's basically thick and spicy applesauce.

Here's the recipe in one blurb, in case you want to print it:

Crockpot Apple Butter

3.5 pounds Gala and Granny Smith Apples (a mix of both types, totaling 3.5 lb)
2 - 47 oz jars unsweetened applesauce
4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 TB ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp ground allspice
lemon zest of 1/2 lemon

Peel and core apples and grate them. Put all ingredients except lemon zest in into slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Remove cover, add lemon zest and blend apple butter smooth. Taste and add more spices or lemon if needed. Uncover and continue cooking for 10-12 more hours. Pour into sterilized jars and boil jars to seal. Enjoy!

Total time: about 24 hours
Yield: 9-10 8oz jars


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