‘Tis the season of….pumpkin, pears, cinnamon, and apples….
Who doesn’t love this season?…It takes me a bit to get into the spirit of fall, after mourning the loss of summer (and crying over the rent textbooks fees), but after the first pumpkin pie I make, I’m sucked into fall and there’s absolutely no going back. Even though I love summer dearly, I must admit that I love the food that comes with fall even more…Pumpkin muffins, caramel frappes, doughnuts and cider, and…apple everything.
My family loves apples. Usually by the first week of September, my mom heads out to our local apple orchard to pick up our annual apple supply. Within a few days, we have several bushels of Honey Crisp apples all over the kitchen 🙂 I’m not complaining. I LOVE cooking with apples..Another thing my family loves is our apple orchard’s apple butter. It is To Die For. It’s smooth, sweet, and spicy; and tastes incredible on our morning toast. One thing we don’t love about it is the price—$8 a pint!! In my opinion, it’s worth it, but that price is kind of ridiculous.
The solution? Make your own!
1. It’s the perfect way to use up any extra apples you might have that are getting too ripe.
2. It’s SUPER easy.
And 3. It is extremely kind to your wallet!
Now, don’t let the title scare you away: This apple butter is deceptively easy—It does not involve hours of standing at the stove. It does not involve pricey ingredients—All it requires are 5 minutes of your morning to dump some apples, some apple juice, and few spices in your slow-cooker, turn it on low, and let it cook itself all day! Within a few hours of cooking, your entire house will smell like cinnamon and apples. Mmmm. One of my favorite smells ever…
When I was making my apple butter, I was roasting a chicken for dinner at the same time….I tell ‘ya, the smells coming from my kitchen that day were absolutely incredible…
All you’ll need for this apple butter are:
- Peeled, cored, and quartered baking apples. (I would suggest using either Galas or Jonathans)
- Apple juice. (Or apple cider!)
- Cinnamon sticks. (It’s important that you don’t substitute ground cinnamon!)
- Ground allspice. (Adds a terrific flavor!)
That’s it! I told you– This apple butter could not be more easy.
The apple butter will take approximately 12 hours of cook time on low. Once the first 8 hours are up, you’re going discard the cinnamon sticks and then mash the softened apples and return to the slow-cooker for another 4 hours.—You may think that the apples are done after the first 8 hours, but trust me, after you mash them it is necessary that you cook them again for an additional 4 hours, otherwise your apple butter won’t be nice and smooth. After the apples are completely cooked, you’re going to let them cool on the counter for about 1 hour, before you’re ready for the last step.
The final step, once your apples are cooled, is to process them in your food processor until smooth… For me, it took about 5 seconds of steady processing to get a nice, smooth texture. —Make sure you process the apples until smooth or it won’t turn into apple butter!!–
Before serving, I would recommend chilling the apple butter until cold. It thickens up a bit as it chills, and I think it tastes much better when it’s thoroughly chilled….I was very pleased to discover, after one taste, that my apple butter tasted just as good and possibly even better than our apple orchard’s over-priced apple butter. Never again will you find me buying apple butter, when I can make it myself with better results!
My whole family just loves this apple butter, it’s so thick and smooth and has a wonderful spice flavor, that even though distinctive, does not overpower the apples. We enjoy spreading this apple butter on toast best of all, but it can be served with a number of different breads and can even be used in baking.
Whatever you choose to use it for, you can be sure that it’s going to turn out divine 🙂
All-Day Apple Butter
- 16 cups peeled cored, and quartered baking apples (Such as Jonathon, Gala, ect..)
- 1-1/2 cups apple juice
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 cinnamon sticks
1. Place apples in a 2-quart slow-cooker. Pour apple juice over apples and sprinkle with allspice. Arrange cinnamon sticks over all. Cook in slow-cooker on low 8 hours. Mash apples with a potato masher then continue to cook on low an additional 4 hours. Let cool completely.
2. Discard cinnamon sticks. Working in batches, process mashed apples in food processor until smooth, about 5-10 seconds. Transfer apple butter to three 1-quart jars and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Yield: 3 quarts apple butter
Store apple butter in refrigerator up to 1 week.