Right now I am being tortured by the scent of cinnamon and apples wafting from my kitchen. I’m making apple butter and it smells heavenly! As I do my best not to drool on my keyboard, I thought I’d share this easy recipe with you.
All you need is a large crockpot, an apple corer (or knife), a cutting board, a stick blender or potato masher, and some glass jars with lids. I recommend more small jars instead of fewer large ones because the apple butter will only stay good in your fridge for a week or so (real food with no chemicals doesn’t last very long). But if you have a large family, or someone like me in your house, you won’t have to worry about it going bad.
I love apple butter smeared on a fresh warm homemade roll, but every time I looked at the ones for sale in the stores, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it. There’s so much junk in those jars! Junk I don’t want to eat, and don’t want to feed my family. Most popular brands included high fructose corn syrup and more corn syrup, among other undesirables.
The organic ones aren’t bad. They appear to have less junk (usually just organic apples and organic apple juice concentrate), but in my book the juice concentrate is unnecessary. It’s just another word for sugar. And anyway, my overactive imagination tells me there’s a good chance the cruddiest apples in the barrel were used to make the apple butter, and that’s not good enough for me either.
So to satisfy all my compulsions, I make my own. And why not? It’s so easy!
- 10-12 organic apples (I recommend sweet varieties like honey crisp and golden delicious)
- 1/3 cup raw honey (vegans can use agave or some other substitute)
- 1 tablespoon apple pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Wash the apples first to remove dirt and spider webbies (they do grow on natural trees after all). Next, use the apple corer to remove the cores and slice the apples.
- Put the apples in your crockpot, then sprinkle them with the apple pie spice and salt. Give them a good stir to coat them fairly well, then pour the honey over them and stir again.
- Put the lid on and set your crockpot to cook on high for 6 hours. When it’s done, the apples will be very mushy. You can then use a stick blender to blend it smooth right in the pot, or you can use a potato masher to accomplish the same thing.
- It’s likely to be pretty watery at this point, depending on how much moisture was in your apples. If it seems too watery (mine always does), remove the lid from the crockpot and cook for another hour or two until it thickens up some.
- Finally, just let it cool and spoon it into your jars (be sure to leave about a half inch of space at the top so you can freeze them without problems). I refrigerate mine for a few hours, and then store all but one jar in the freezer.
When we empty that jar, I just get a new one out of the freezer and place it in the fridge for the next time. Now go make yourself some apple butter, and enjoy!