I used a jar of apple butter in a recipe last week and realized that I'd never shared that recipe. I'm sharing this recipe today, so that I can share a great use for this apple butter tomorrow. I've made a few different versions of apple butter; this one is my favorite. The apple flavor is not overpowered by loads of different spices and it isn't too sweet for my tastes.
When made on the stove-top, apple butter takes a considerable amount of time and effort. With a crockpot, all the hassle is removed. Simply toss in the ingredients and walk away. It really is that easy and it is the only way I make apple butter now. My favorite part of making apple butter is the fragrance in my home as it is simmering all day long.
Apple Butter in the Crock-pot
6 lbs apples, peeled and roughly chopped, I've used Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp apples in the past
3 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Place the apples in the crockpot and top with the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cover with lid and set to HIGH. After a few hours, uncover, stir and cover again. Continue simmering until the mixture is thickened and dark brown. Stir occasionally, as needed to prevent sticking. When the liquid is absorbed, after 8-10 hours, blend until smooth. I use an immersion blender right in the crockpot. However, you can also transfer the apple mixture to a blender and puree it that way.
Once the apple butter is pureed, you can adjust the thickness by leaving the apple butter in the crockpot on LOW and uncovering it. It will slowly thicken that way. Stir occasionally, to prevent sticking to the sides of the crockpot. I typically leave mine to simmer that way anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
When the apple butter is finished, transfer it immediately into sterile canning jars. Fill the jars to 1/4 inch from top. Seal them and process 5 minutes in boiling water bath. If you prefer not to use a hot water bath, pour melted wax over the top of the hot jars, let that cool completely and then place the lids on top.