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For instructions on how easy it is to can this apple butter, please click here. Thank you so much for reading Southern Plate and don’t forget to check back in tomorrow for another apple recipe! Gratefully, Christy
From time to time I run across a person who has never heard of apple butter. When I am finished gasping in horror at the wasted life they have led up until that point, I make it my first order of business to slather some on a biscuit and get it to their mouth as soon as possible.
We are very fortunate to have our Cracker Barrel restaurants, where you can get an apple butter fix any time of day. The Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is also a favorite by all who have been there and had fresh apple butter spooned over a hot apple fritter. We even have some good brands in our grocery stores such as Bama brand apple butter (Which I just found out is actually made by Welchs and available only in the Southeastern United States). Still, when it comes to filling your house with yummy scents and filling your tummy with spicy goodness, nothing beats homemade.
Apple butter is surprisingly easy to make, especially with the help of a crock pot. Still, folks seem to be intimidated by it. Perhaps its the complex taste of the spices combined with how few people actually do make it anymore which causes it to be shyed away from in our kitchens. There is no need though as making apple butter with this recipe is likely one of the easiest things that I’ve brought you so far!
I like to put my apple butter on to cook in the slow cooker just before I go to bed and let it cook all night long. When I wake up in the morning, the house is filled with the most delicious and fragrant smell that I often reserve making it for a time when we have company! I wake up first thing, take the lid off, and give it a few fans just to make sure the house is thoroughly saturated with apple butter smell (you might want to save this until after you’ve made biscuits because that breakfast table will fill up pretty quickly!). We eat a breakfast of biscuits and fresh, hot apple butter while I let the rest continue to cook. This is about as close to heaven as you can possibly get while still drawing breath.
Our ingredients are: Two large jars of unsweetened applesauce (three pounds or fifty ounces), sugar, 3 lbs granny smith apples, apple juice, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Exact recipe is at bottom of page.
“Chip” your apples like we did in the apple pie (If you have not read the apple pie tutorial, you now have your first official homework assignment). Do this by peeling them and cutting little chips of them off. Place in large crock pot along with both jars of apple sauce, sugar, spices, and a bit of apple juice (exact quantities at the bottom). If you feel like it is too much sugar for you or too much cloves or allspice, just do a little less. The beauty of this recipe is that you cook it all night in the crock pot, then taste it in the morning and add what you prefer to make it to your taste. You can also use Splenda instead of sugar!
My advice in doing that would be to put a wee bit less Splenda than the amount of sugar it calls for.
At this point your butter will be dark brown and rich, but with a bit too much water in it. This is where you will taste it and see what you want to add. I am including the exact quantities I use at the bottom of this recipe. Leave the lid off and continue cooking for a few hours until it cooks down a little bit. “Cooks down” is how old folks say “its too runny, you need some of that water gone!”.
After it cooks down a bit, fill up pint or quart jars and seal. If you go through the process of canning this, you can simply leave the jars on a shelf in your pantry. Otherwise you would need to refrigerate them and use within two to three weeks. You can also place in jars and freeze to keep it longer without having to can it. For a complete tutorial that makes canning easy, please click here (yes, I said “EASY” because it is!). Personally, I ended up with eight pints of it. Last time I made it, my company ate almost two pints at dinner. I sent a few pints home with them, gave one to another neighbor, one to another…..and so on and so forth. Long story short is, out of eight pints, I have one left for my own personal use. ~grins~ Now that’s when you know you’ve done good!