Guys, it’s ALMOST the most wonderful time of the year. I was alarmed and a little bamboozled when I went to Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago and saw the dreaded Christmas decorations already shelved and ready for purchase. “Really?!”, I thought. Yes. Really. We are almost to fall (thankyouthankyouthankyou), and it’s time to start the 3 month Christmas gift plan-a-thon that is my life before December 25th. Luckily, my mom has all the answers. She sent Connor and I a homemade apple butter recipe that can be made in my beloved crock pot. Easy and delicious. No brainer. Love you mom! To all of my friend readers out there, don’t be surprised if this shows up on your door step for Christmas, along with Connor’s famous pumpkin chocolate bread =)
To make the apple butter, here is a quick step by step. For the full recipe, see the bottom of this post.
I used a crock pot liner for this recipe. Because the apple butter has a lot of sugar, it tends to stick to the pot easily. I learned the hard way that it can easily damage the ceramic of crock pot.
1. Peel and chop about 2 lbs of red apples (i used gala) and 2 lbs of Granny Smith. Throw into the crock pot.
2. , 3. and 4. Add 3 cups of sugar and stir.
5. Add cinnamon – feel free to add a little more in fall and winter months for a more autumnal taste.
6. Add nutmeg, ground cloves and allspice.
7. and 8. Throw in a dash of salt.
9. Add 3/4 cup water or apple cider.
10. Stir until every piece of apple is covered with a delicious, sugary layer of spices. Put the crock pot on low overnight (for about 8 to 12 hours). ***Make sure to mash the apples when they become soft. I used a potato masher.
When you wake up in the morning, your house will be filled with a sweet, cinnamon apple smell. It’s amazing the precedent a good morning smell can set for a day! Spread some on a piece of toast and decide if you want it to cook longer. When it cools, you can jar into gift mason jars and label them.
I used rope to wrap around the jar and placed a stick-on label over the rope.
Here is the full recipe:
Crock Pot Apple Butter:
Approximately 3 lb. apples
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
Dash of salt
3/4 cup water or fresh apple cider
Fill Crock-pot 3/4 full with peeled, cored and sliced apples. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Cover and cook on low setting overnight or until the butter is of a thick, spreadable consistency.
If apple butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until thickened. Stir often as butter thickens to prevent scorching.
Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Freeze for longer storage.
Variation: For a less sweet apple butter, substitute 1 cup honey for the sugar.
To can the apple butter, pack into hot jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.