Apple butter is always one of my favorite fall and winter condiments. I like eating it on toast, with muffins, and I even bake with it. There's something about the apple flavor mixed with spices that gets me every time. In the past I have made apple butter on the stove but I have a hard time getting it to thicken up as much as I would like.
So several weeks ago another teacher at school brought in close to a bushel of apples to use for a game with her class. After the game was over I approached her and asked if I could purchase the bruised apples. She looked at me like I was nuts. I explained to her that I like to can them and bruised apples are just fine. She told me that I could just have them as she was just going to give them to the deer.
I brought them home and they sat on my counter for several days while I decided what to make with them. I wanted to make apple butter but I didn't want to hassle. I started looking around and saw a recipe for canning crock-pot apple butter. This was definitely more my style!
I prepared the apples and got them into the crock-pot. I peeled most of them but a few I left the peels on. Then I added water, a bunch of cinnamon sticks, and some other spices. I let it go for about 4 hours before putting in a food processor. After that I put it back into the crock-pot for 4 additional hours with some more spices.
The apple butter ended up looking amazing. It was the perfect thick consistency. It was sweet and spiced and tasted of fresh apples. All I had to do was put it in a boiling water canning bath and I ended up with several half pints of fresh apple butter to eat all winter long!
- 15-20 apples (about 5 pounds)
- 1 c. water
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 3 c. brown sugar
- 1 T. cinnamon
- 1 t. nutmeg
- 1 t. ginger
- 3 T. lemon juice
- Peel, core, and slice your apples. Place them in a crock-pot.
- Add one cup of water and cinnamon sticks then turn the crock-pot on high. Cook for 4 hours.
- Remove the apples to a food processor and process until smooth. Place the apples back in the crock-pot and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Cook for 4 more hours or until the apple butter is thick.
- Add the lemon juice and stir well.
- Prepare a boiling water canner and 8 half pint jars.
- Pour the apple butter into hot jars leaving ½ inch of headspace. Wipe the rims and place the lids on the jars. Tighten the screwband to fingertip tight.
- Process in the boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove lid. Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from the canner.
- Allow to cool 24 hours. Check to make sure the jars sealed and store for up to 1 year.