One of the best aromas ever is a slow cooker full of apples and spice...there is nothing like it, and one of the easiest ways to enjoy the fall smells is by making Slow Cooker Apple Butter. In addition to the crisp fragrance, nothing tastes more like fall than fresh apple butter. My family loves to eat it on crisp toast, pancakes and even on ice cream.
All you need to make this simple apple butter is a slow cooker and about 10 to 12 large apples. My favorite kind to use are Jonathon's...they are perfect mixture of firm, sweet, tart and Granny Smiths are my second favorite. Wash your apples and peel them. I like to use my old fashioned apple peeler...it does the job in a matter of seconds. I think I found this peeler at Wal-Mart years ago.
Once the apples are peeled, you can use an apple slicer to slice them into large wedges. Place them in a slow cooker and turn it on to the low setting.
Once the slow cooker is full, add three cups of sugar and four tablespoons of apple pie seasoning. If you can not find apple pie seasoning, mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to a mixture you like.
Put a lid on the slow cooker and cook for eight hours on the low setting. Stir occasionally to mix the spices and sugars through the mixture. You will have a delicious amount to apple juice that cooks out of the apples over cooking time. When the time is skim off most of the juice and set aside. Add two tablespoons of real vanilla extract and mix together. I like to use an immersion blender to blend the chunks up into a half chunky sauce. If your mixture is still too thin, cook a little longer in the pot. (It will thicken ever more in the fridge.)
Once your apple butter is done, you can refrigerate it for up to six weeks or freeze it for up two months. If you want it to last through the winter, you can process them in a water bath for 20 minutes and they will keep for a year. You can find the instructions for the water bath process at the Ball Fresh Preserving Site.
Just imagine a spice filled thick sweet and tart apple sauce in one bite...and you will know why we are crazy for this recipe! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.
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