Saturday, November 5, 2011
Crock Pot Apple Butter Recipe
My Hoosier husband thought there was nothing that could ever top Brown County, IN apple butter - UNTIL he tasted this recipe! Now (with the aid of a gadget) he even helps make it! Today he peeled 1/2 bushel of apples while I prepared them for the following recipe. Of course, to hear HIM tell it, he MAKES the apple butter! Just like when we throws the meat on the grill, he COOKS dinner! As long as it gets him into the kitchen to help me, I'll let him keep on thinking that HE made the apple butter, but we all know better! ;)
From our 1/2 bushel of Pink Lady, Rome and Golden Delcious apples from a North Georgia grower, we have 2 crock pots of apple butter and my large le Cruset Dutch oven of applesauce all cooking. To make a crock pot of apple butter, you only need about 8 pounds of apples. Any variety will do, but the fresher the apples, the better the apple butter and a variety of types will give it intense flavor. Same holds true for applesauce.
Trust me, once you've had homemade applesauce, you won't ever want the comercially produced stuff again!
Crock Pot Apple Butter
8 pounds apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup apple cider vinegar
6 cups sugar
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Place apples and vinegar in a 4-quart crock pot. Cook, covered on HIGH for 6 hours. Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to LOW and cook, covered ro 4 hours. Cool and store in refrigerator.
To seal and store for up to 6 months, pour hot apple butter into hot, sterilized canning jars. Cover with lids, adjust rim, process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes for 1/2 pints and 10 minutes for pints. Remove from water and set jars on wire rack to cool. Store in a cool, dark place.
Yield: 14 (1/2 pint) jars or 7 pints.
This recipe can be halved. Follow the same directions, just half the ingredients.
4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced or chopped
1 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar, optional
Place apples and apple juice in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add lemon juice and sugar and simmer, stirring often, until apples are soft enough to mash with a potato masher. When apples are soft, remove from heat and mash to desired consistency.
You can add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon with the sugar, if desired. If your apples are sweet, you may not even want to add sugar. Taste them when they start to get soft and see if you really need sugar. I use my stick blender to mash them. Just make sure your apples are soft and the deep enough in the pot (I had them splash all over the kitchen once!).
You can also make the applesauce in the crock pot. Place the apples (no juice) in the pot, cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Stir mixture and continue to cook until desired consistency. Add sugar, if needed after the first 4 hours.
Refrigerate applesauce or put in jars and process as described in the Apple Butter recipe.