Thursday, October 7, 2010

Apple Butter

I purchased a 1/2 bushel of seconds of Jonagold apples to use to make apple butter (We used the ones we picked to eat and make apple dumplings). A couple years ago, a friend of mine shared her method of making apple butter in the crock pot with me and this is how I've made apple butter ever since.

First, wash, peel, and core your apples, and cook them in a pot on the stove with some water until they are soft. I filled my 5 quart cast iron pot with apples and added 1 cup of water, put the lid on and cooked for about 20 minutes. Once they were done, I put them in the crock pot. I cooked up two batches in my cast iron pot to fill up my crock pot like you see in the picture below. This was approximately 1 peck of apples in my crock pot (1/2 of what I purchased). I added 2 cups of sugar, 1 1/2 Tablespoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground cloves, and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg. The amount of sugar you add depends on the type of apples you use, and the spices are all what your family prefers. The apples can be easily broken up and mashed with a potato masher, and if you want you can use a hand held mixer.

I started cooking the apple butter in my crock pot around 4pm on a Saturday evening on low. I turned it off when I went to bed around 10pm, and then turned it back on before we left for church and let it cook all morning and afternoon. You want your apples to reduce by half, and it is important to let it cook with the lid removed to allow the extra liquid to evaporate. By around 5pm on Sunday evening, I began the canning process. I processed the apple butter for 10 minutes in a hot water bath canner.

I ended up seven 1/2 pint jars with this batch. I repeated this process again, and ended up
with a total of 8 pints of apple butter from a 1/2 bushel of apples.

Crock pot apple butter is so easy. You can adjust this recipe to suit your family's tastes, and this also makes your house smell wonderful!

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