There’s something nostalgic, almost romantic, about apple butter. I picture myself curled up on the couch lazily perusing the newspaper while savoring a fluffy biscuit slathered with melted butter and apple butter. Life is good.
Only, it’s really just a Tuesday morning. I’ve hit the snooze button one too many times and I’ve forgotten to lay out the clothes for the current work day the night prior, and where, where did my eyelash curler go? I swear. I just saw it. I quickly cram a slice of toast in the toaster and silently curse how unreliable it is. It has a mind of its own. Some days it’ll unleash its fury and leave a burnt ember, on others, it’ll toast the outside perfect but leave the center frozen. My toaster is a deceptive and cruel machine. It is not to be trusted.
Regardless of my toaster’s mood, I quickly slather on some apple butter on my toast, grab my laptop, and rush out the door. I happily gnaw on my slice of toast as I drive to work but by the time I get out the car, I find I am coated in crumbs and sometimes if I’m lucky, some apple butter has landed on my white button-down shirt. Life is….well, still good.
I have a habit of upping the spice content for most of my recipes but based on experience, you should not increase the amount of cloves or nutmeg. Add a pinch more of cinnamon if you can’t help yourself but these flavors will concentrate over the duration of the cooking.
This recipe is easily halved.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a blender. I found that I actually prefer my apple butter slightly chunky than pureed into an oblivion.
Apple butter does not contain butter. Serve butter in addition to apple butter and find yourself a very happy camper..
6 1/2 pounds apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon + a pinch
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1. Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples and mix well.
2. Cook in slow cooker on low for about 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
3. Uncover, stir in vanilla and continue cooking uncovered on low for about 2 hours.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until smooth.
5. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze.
6. Serve on breads, muffins, pork chops or just eat it with a spoon.
Adapted from allrecipes.com