Homemade Spiced Apple Butter
I never knew how simple it was to make homemade apple butter until I read this post on the beautifully redesigned blog (with wonderful recipes) The Art of Homemaking. Megan’s variety is sugarless and simple and is made in a slow cooker (crock pot) which makes it much easier to walk away from for extended periods of time. My version below is made on the stove top, so you’ll need a day where you’re home and can check back in on the stove regularly. I’ve added some of my favorite Fall goodies to this adaptation of the original recipe. Yield: About 4 Pints
3 lbs. Gala Apples, Washed, Cored, de-seeded and chopped (keep peels on)
2/3 Cups Spiced Apple Cider*
1/2 Stick (1/4 Cup) Butter
1/2 Cup Raw Turbinado Sugar
1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
4 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
* You can use traditional Apple Cider without Mulling Spices, but the Mulling Spices really give your Apple Butter extra kick. You can also buy Mulling Spices at Williams-Sonoma and steep into the apples on your own, but there is no need for the extra step if you purchase the right cider.
1. Wash apples and cut to remove all core and seeds. Chop into small chunks (the smaller the pieces the faster the cooking).
2. Put chopped apples in a large stock pan on the stove. Add Spiced Apple Cider, Butter, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Ginger.
3. Cook over medium low heat for about 45 minutes until apples cook down and are soft. Stir occasionally and smoosh apples with a potato masher or wooden spoon.
4. Reduce heat to a simmer. Let apples cook down for about 4-5 hours. After about 3 hours add Turbinado Sugar and Brown Sugar. Mix thoroughly. Add more Cinnamon or other spices if needed for flavor. Continue to cook down until apples reach desired consistency and color. They will become darker and darker as they cook down. For Apple Butter you want a medium to dark brown color. Use an immersion blender, and blend for about 1-2 minutes until mostly smooth with a few small chunks.
5. Serve warm on Whole Wheat Soda Biscuits or other favorite breads. Allow to cool then store in the refrigerator in sealed glass jars or plastic containers for use over the next few weeks. You can also use hot canning procedures to extend the shelf life or freeze batches for later use in Ziplock freezer bags or plastic containers. Enjoy!