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Apple Butter

September 23, 2010

Jane and I made a lot of apple butter last year.  Along with my husband, we canned 90 jars as our wedding favor.  So this year, only making enough to fill 2 small crock pots with 10 pounds of apples seemed like a breeze.  Apple butter is a great topping for ice cream, pancakes or toast.  Cooking it in a crock pot means it requires little attention and can cook down while you are busy doing (canning) other things.  As might be assumed by the fact that lots of apples go into the recipe that is then reduced by half, the cost of apple butter is higher than applesauce.  Ours came out to be about $0.90 per 8 oz. jar.

We used “Marion’s Apple Butter” from Preserving the Harvest, and doubled the recipe between the two crock pots.

  • 5 pounds (about 15 small or 10 large) tart apples
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 3 cups sugar plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Prior to cooking in the crock pot, apple butter basically looks like smooth applesauce

  1. Wash, core, and quarter the apples. No need to peel them.
  2. Cook the apples slowly in the cider until tender. Blend with a immersion blender.
  3. Add 3 cups of the sugar, then more sugar, if needed, to attain the desired sweetness.  Whisk in the spices and mix thoroughly.

Whisking the spices in help to prevent clumps (thanks, squirrel whisk!)

4. Cook in a slow-cooker/crock pot overnight, stirring occasionally.  If no liquid oozes around the edges when held in a spoon, it is thick enough.

Finished product, reduced by about half

5. Ladle into sterile jars, leaving 1/2″ of headspace.
6. Process in a boiling-water-bath canner for 10 minutes.

Finished product, ready to eat!

Yield: 13 x 8 oz. jars for a double batch

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