Crock Pot Apple Butter
By Heidi Allison
Nothing is more comforting in the fall than homemade apple pie, and this rich, thick apple butter tastes just like apple pie on a spoon! Not too sweet, deeply complex and nuanced, this recipe is made in the French fashion for jams: cooked for at least 17 hours and at a low temperature, which creates flavor that captures the essence of the fruit, rather than sugar. This “low-and slow” time-honored culinary technique also creates a wonderfully thick texture that does not rely on pectin additives.
While any apples will do, another culinary trick that creates a rich depth of flavor is to use at least two different types of Organic Apples
— tart Green Apples and sweet Red Apples, to create balance and complexity. I like to use organic, green Granny Smith
and organic red Gala Apples
. But whatever is organic and fresh will be your best bet. Try using two types of red apples and one green apple, for even more nuance of flavor! While most apple butter recipes use cloves as part of the spice blend, I find this spice overpowering, and switch out cloves for Ground Ginger
This recipe could not be easier – rather that simmering and stirring the fruit mixture in copper pots for 17 hours, this rendition is made in your crock pot. If you want to “hurry it up”, just reduce the amount of apple cider. And don't forget the butter at the end—it is a secret ingredient that adds richness, and smooths out the flavor.
Makes: 3 cups
3 pounds of Organic Apples
(about 4 Gala
and 2 Green Apples), peeled, cored and sliced ¼ thick
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
2/3 cup White Granulated Sugar
2½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
½ teaspoon Allspice
½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 cup Unfiltered, Organic Apple Cider
1 Tablespoon Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
1 Tablespoon Meyer Lemon
Place apples in 5 quart crock pot (about half full).
Place brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and salt in a bowl and toss to combine. Sprinkle over apples and toss several times to combine.
Pour apple cider and apple cider vinegar over apple mixture and toss to combine. Cover crock pot and heat on low for 17 hours. Do not remove lid.
After 17 hours, remove lid and mash apple mixture with a large fork. Cook with lid off for an additional 1½ hours or until thick and most of liquid had been removed.
Place apple mixture in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Add butter and lemon juice and stir to combine.
Place in refrigerator until ready to use.