Crockpot Apple butter
Apple butter is a great way to use up apples! After I buy a box of apples it seems there are always some banged up, squished, bruised apples in the bottom of the box. They aren't bad, but they aren't appetizing for eating and aren't the most appealing to look at. Those apples are perfect for apple butter. There is something so rich, fulfilling and decadent about apple butter. It is good on toast, scones, English muffins and even on pancakes! It is especially good stirred into your morning oatmeal! I also like it as a condiment to leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches.
This method of making apple butter takes little to no work, it cooks while you sleep and will fill your house and maybe your dreams with yummy comforting scents. You may just have visions of apple picking in your dreams.
I like a combination of apples, to create more of a complex flavor of apple butter, but if you only have one variety, go with what you have. I find that Fuji apples are my favorite.
Another thing I like to do is substitute some of the white sugar with brown. It is great with all white sugar, but I love the addition of brown sugar. I have added this as an option in the recipe. I have never tried this with artificial sweeteners or low calorie sugar substitutes. If you do, please let me know how it goes. I am all for making things healthier while keeping it yummy!
Due to the acidity of this particular recipe, I have never attempted to hot bath can this. Freezing it seems to work great (fill your containers as full as possible to prevent any icy freezer burn from settling on the top layer) because of the consistency, it can even be frozen flat in quart size zip top bags. Some people do can their apple butter just fine, my grandmother did and never had a problem. If you are concerned about shelf life due to the acidity level, you could probably add lemon juice to this recipe without altering the taste much. I have never done that and admit that I am not a canning expert (it's on my bucket list to become one though), so I cannot give you particular instructions in that area.
These would make great gifts. Just now writing this I am contemplating a pear butter… oh no, another project. This apple butter, homemade applesauce, fresh pumpkin puree and spaghetti meat sauce are on my fall cooking project list. Do you get so excited for fall that you create project lists to restock your kitchen?
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