Contributing Writer: Leslie Cates with The Cozy Little Kitchen
And Happy 8th Anniversary!
I grew up in the lovely Kentucky countryside amongst farms and lakes. The fall was the prettiest time of year with vivid colored leaves that made a carpet in our big yard. My brother and I would have fun making these elaborate “trails” from raking paths of leaves around the yard to ride our bikes through! This was probably one of the most cherished traditions I shared with my younger brother growing up. We couldn’t wait to the leaves to fill our yard come every fall!
Another memory in the fall growing up was eating apple butter for breakfast. Mom would make us toast or biscuits and put out all the goodies to top them with. I usually gravitated to the creamy goodness of spiced apple butter!
This was my first attempt at making this spread homemade, and it turned out more delicious than expected! Making it in the slow cooker allowed the process to be a bit more relaxed than other canning I’ve done, and it also filled the house with a cozy cinnamon-apple aroma! This is an excellent gift for family or something good to eat on all winter long with a flaky biscuit and coffee.
Slow Cooked Apple Butter
Recipe from Cooking with K
1/2-1 cups Water or Apple Cider
8-10 Whole Apples (I used Gala) washed, cored, and chopped
1-2 cups Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoons Ground Cloves
1/8 teaspoons Allspice
1/8 teaspoons Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoons Salt
Chop all of the apple, only leaving the core. I left the peel on for just a bit of texture and fiber.
Place apples in the slow cooker and add sugar and spices. Stir to combine.
Add the water or cider.
(If using cider, you may not want to add as much sugar as you would with water.)
Set cooker on high and bring to a bubble.
Then turn down to low and cook for 6-8 hours, stirring every couple of hours. If it needs to cook down even more, leave the lid propped open for a while.
The apple butter is done when it has a very deep color, apples are cooked to pieces, and it has thickened.
Use a hand blender or food processor to cream it all together until smooth. I had success using a hand blender right in the pot. Easy and nothing extra to clean.
To can apple butter, you will need to buy jars and sterilize them in a boiling water bath or put in your dishwasher on “sterilize” setting.
To sterilize in a water bath, you will need to place a kitchen towel in the bottom of a sauce pot and fill halfway with water. Turn jars upside down in the cold water and bring to a boil. Boil over medium heat for 15 minutes. Sterilize the jar lids, rings, and the end of your kitchen tongs in another pot the same way. Never touch the inside of a jar or lid with your bare hands. Use a tong for the lids and kitchen towel for the jars.
Fill the jars to 1/2 inch from the top and take the end of a towel and dip in boiling water. Wipe the rim of the jar very clean. Place the lid onto the jar straight out of the water it was sterilized in, being careful not to touch it. Take the tongs and get a ring. You can place the ring with your hands to secure the jar.
When all of the jars are filled, place filled jars in a deep saucepan and boil over medium heat for 15 minutes. Makes about 4 pints.
Remove and let cool on the counter over night. You know the jars have sealed with you hear the popping coming from the lids becoming vacuum tight once removed from the boiling water. Store the jars of apple butter in the pantry, but if for some reason a jar doesn’t seal properly, store in the fridge and use first.
It won’t last long!