Recipe by CHEF GRPA
This tasty apple butter is a real slow cooker, but well worth the wait. Depending on the sweetness of the apples used, the amount of sugar may be adjusted to taste. I hope you give this a try. It is so easy and you will look like a pro to your family and friends. The more you give this out as gifts, the more you will hear people tell you that they have/had a relative who used to make apple butter. Enjoy!!
- 5 1⁄2 lbs apples (peeled, cored and finely chopped)
- 4 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg (if you like)
Directions See How It's Made
- 1. Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples in the slow cooker and mix well.
- 2. Cover and cook on high 1 hour.
- 3. Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
- 4. Uncover and continue cooking on low 1 hour. Stir with a whisk, if desired, to increase smoothness.
- 5. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate or freeze.
- Note: I have at times replace the sugar with ~ 3/4 Celsius honey. It's better for you and tastes great.
- My Note: I used Golden Delicious apples, and put them through the food processor VERY FINE before I started. This way I didn't have any lumps, and didn't have to mess with hot butter later on. We like really spicy apple butter, so I increased the spices a little, but then added 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice. I also only used about 2 cups sugar. Put it on before I went to bed, and then in the morning took the lid off and let it cook another few hours where I could watch it to get the consistancy I wanted. (I checked it by putting a spoonful on a saucer and looking after it got cold to see if there was any water separation.).
- UPDATE: We found that the cooking time once the lid was removed needed to be longer. I made one batch leaving the lid off for the suggested one hour and the butter was more like apple sauce. I found some suggestions from an extension service. They said To test for doneness, remove a spoonful and hold it away from steam for 2 minutes. It is done if the butter remains mounded on the spoon. Another way to determine when the butter is cooked adequately is to spoon a small quantity onto a plate. When a rim of liquid does not separate around the edge of the butter, it is ready for canning. Also in my first batch I reduced the amount of sugar as some suggested. I think this was a mistake too. The second batch was much better using the entire 4 cups.
- UPDATE: I had no idea it was so easy to make apple butter. I had a lot of apples on my trees this year. I love this recipe but I did try a couple of variations. I used just over one cup of sugar. I liked it better a bit tart. I cut the apples into chunks instead of small pieces and then put them in the crock-pot on high; I would add more apples as they cooked down so my crock-pot was full. I let them cook, covered on high overnight. After they got soft I removed the lid and let them cook down while I was at work (about 6 hours). Since they were in chunks the thinner liquid made them not stick and burn like a thick liquid would have. They reduced down to between 2/3 to ½ of a crock-pot. When I got home I took my immersion blender and blended them up and the thickness was just about perfect. I tried the saucer test for doneness. I put them in my sterilized jars and put them in a hot water bath for 30 minutes. Now I have my Christmas presents ready to go, cheap, fabulous and homemade! It just doesn’t get any easier. I made this with pears also and it was good but not quite as good as the apple. I also tried one batch with unpeeled apples and there is a huge difference. Take the time to peel the apples. I ended up making about five batches and each batch made about 9 half pints.
- Like other users here, we think this is a bit too sweet -- ok, a lot too sweet. I use nice, tart Fuji apples and about a cup of sugar. Also, I find that I have to cook this down on the stove after it comes out of the crock if I want that nice, thick buttery texture, but it's worth it to start it in the crock because it gives it a sort of caramel aftertaste that's hard to get on the stove. Remember: you can burn fruit butter, but you can't overcook it! The longer you cook this stuff, the better it will be: if you get tired of it one night, put it in the fridge and cook it some more the next night! My very best batch ever was cooked over three nights and canned the third. I did not cut the sugar, I added 2 more pounds of apples instead. I canned mine in a hot water bath, so I didn't have to put them in the freezer. I saw on another site that said Jonathan, Golden Delicious, and Macintosh apples were good choices for apple butter. 10/14/1991 Ok, I've made 14 batches of this now. This is literally the best recipe I have ever tried. Using 1 cup of brown sugar for one of the cups of white sugar makes it much richer. I have never had a problem with just whisking it to smoothness at the end (and I've used red delicious). Also if you want a lot of apple butter for gifts or self. Call your local orchard and ask about 2nds or windfall apples that you pick off the ground. I purchased 2 bushels for $10 (88 pounds of apples). Hence the 4 batches. Let me tell you this is better than slaving over a stove ALL day! TASTES SO GOOD! Mom and I have used this old test also to check for the right consistency. The method I prefer is to stand a wooden spoon straight up in the middle of my apple better. Let go and if it remains straight up, your butter is done.
- A few helpful hints for those that are making apple butter for the first time. 1. Look at your choice of apples before peeling. Some apples are tart, sweet, crisp, soft… some are ideal for baking and others for eating. The sweeter the apple the less sugar you will want to put in your butter. So make sure and taste your apple before you put your sugar and spices and everything nice in the pot. 2. Peel, then use your kitchen gadget to core and slice at once. No need to finely chop it will cook down then you can use a stick blender if you need. 3. I use a cheap slow cooker and I have found that it takes longer for my butter to “thicken” up after the hour uncovered. I cook mine uncovered on high for an hour, and then move to low for another hour or so. Stir that bad boy and you can visually see when that butter is ready even before doing the “test” 4. Do the “Test”, put your saucer in the freezer an hour or so before your butter is ready. After taking the cold saucer out, put a small teaspoon of the butter on the plate. If your butter is runny, then keep cooking, you are not ready to jar it up. Once it mounds up and trust me you will know what I mean when you see it, then you can jar that yummy goodness up :D 5. And last but not least, PLEASE, taste your butter as it is cooking. Before you thicken it up you can add a lil of this and that to make it just perfect for YOUR tastebuds.