Apple Butter

Crock Pot Apple Butter is one of the easiest things to make. Especially if you started out by making applesauce in the crock pot (which is also easy as pie to do). The main thing you want to remember when making apple butter is to take your time with it…. low and slow is the best way AND let the moisture escape. Here is how I do it:
Transfer the applesauce from the 6 quart crock pot to a 3-4 quart crock pot (it has reduced so much when you made applesauce in the 6 quart crock, to get the proper cooking temperature and time, you’ll want to transfer it to a more fitting size crock pot). To the applesauce add 1/2 cup of apple juice, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of allspice and juice of half a lemon. Stir all the ingredients to incorporate.
Now what you want to do is put the lid on…. well, kinda. I prop the lid so that the moisture can escape. I used to just kind of balance the lid so that it mostly covered the crock pot. What I’ve found that works the best is using a spatula or two chopsticks to lay across the top of the crock pot and then lay the lid on it. Once you’ve gotten the lid good and balanced turn the crock pot to low and let cook for 8 – 10 hours.
After it’s cooked on low for so long it will be a dark brown color and should have thickened up and reduced down in size. At this point I always taste it. If I need to add more sugar or spices I do so at this point.
If you find your apple butter to be too thin, continue cooking (with the lid propped as before) for an additional couple of hours. When it’s to the consistency you like, it’s done.
If you find your apple butter to be too thick, just add in a litle apple juice (I start with 1/4 cup) at a time and stir it in to incorporate well. Keep adding apple juice until it reaches the consistency you like.
Once the apple butter is made you can eat on biscuits, toast or heck, RIGHT out of the jar (when there’s no one lookin’ of course). If any is left and needs to be stored, you can put it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for a good week or so.  You can also use it in other recipes (which I’m going to post one of those tomorrow, so be on the lookout).
*Note* If you don’t want to make your own applesauce in the crock pot to start this recipe with, you can substitute bought apple sauce from the store. I always just make sure when I start with store bought applesauce that it fills the crock pot up 2/3 – 3/4 of the way full. Recipes like this are not so much of a recipe as they are a technique…. so just make sure to taste it along the way to get the right sugar and spice combination to your liking.
This recipe shared at Ultimate Recipe SwapHearth and Soul and Friday’s Kid Tested Recipes.
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