Slow-cookers make more than meaty dinner dishes. Make a sweet, rich apple butter spread that goes perfectly on a toasted English muffin or served over pork chops. One taste and you'll never believe it's fat free.
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
10 medium apples, peeled and cut into large chunks (about 2 1/2 pounds)
How to Make It
Combine all ingredients in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 10 hours or until apples are very tender.
Place a large fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; spoon one-third of apple mixture into sieve. Press mixture through sieve using the back of a spoon or ladle. Discard pulp. Repeat procedure with remaining apple mixture. Return apple mixture to slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, on high 1 1/2 hours or until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally. Spoon into a bowl; cover and chill up to a week.
Stovetop variation: Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 1 hour or until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally. Strain through a sieve as recipe instructs in Step Return mixture to pan. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.
A mixture of apple varieties, rather than just one type, will produce apple butter with rich, complex flavor in this slow cooker recipe. Good choices include Esopus Spitzenburg, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Northern Spy, Rome, Stayman, Winesap, and York. Enjoy the apple butter over toast or English muffins, or serve it with pork chops or chicken.
Great flavor!--I really like this recipe and the overnight convenience can't be beat. I would omit the sieve step--the apples break down pretty thoroughly overnight and I don't think it's necessary. An immersion blender would work great, as other people have mentioned, but I like the slight chunkiness. Other people also have mentioned cutting down the amounts of sugar, but my apples are tart, home-grown Ark Blacks, and I needed that amount of sweetness. I would say it depends on your apples. Also remember, you're making a condiment, not apple sauce.
I just made this. I am so confused by the recipe. I didn't read the reviews first or I would have skipped the sieve part. I set it to cook last night, got up this morning and spooned it into the sieve, pressed it, and all the liquid drained into the bowl. I put the apple mixture I had just pressed into another bowl, then continued spooning and mashing. When I got done, I had a bowl of liquid and a bowl of the apple mixture. My confusion is in what the pulp is? There was no solid anything that drained through the sieve. I put the apple mixture back in the crock pot and thank goodness didn't throw out the juice. My husband looked at it and said he thought it should go back in so we poured the liquid back in. So what was the point of using the sieve? It smells great and I'm sure will taste just as good, but they could have made the instructions a bit clearer!
Incredibly Easy & Tasty Crock Pot Apple Butter
Based on other reviews, I reduced the amount of sugar and honey by about half which was wise. I didn't have any ground cloves so used whole cloves instead. I used a mixture of Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji apples. I tossed the ingredients into the slow cooker after dinner on low and after 2 hours it seemed to be cooking quickly, so turned it down to the Warm setting all night. Woke up to a wonderfully scented kitchen. I mashed the cooked apples with a pastry cutter until they were in fine chunks. I wanted to avoid pressing the mixture thru a sieve, so used an immersion blender to achieve a creamy texture. It is so delicious - I'm sure we'll find many uses other than just spreading it on English muffins; perhaps a sauce for vanilla ice cream? spooned onto pork chops? blended into a smoothie? I'm also going to try freezing a portion of this batch to see how it holds up. Could be a good idea for easy home-made Christmas gifts
Delicious! Made this overnight so this morning all I had to do was cook it with the top off for another hour and a half. I took some of the suggestions from other commenters. I used slightly less honey (probably about a third of a cup). It's not too sweet for me, but I think it would also be great halving the honey and sugar...and saves calories! I also took left the skins on and used an immersion blender to mix it all together.
EXCELLENT...EXCEPT...YOU MUST CUT THE BROWN SUGAR AND HONEY AMOUNTS IN HALF! It will be over the top sweet if you don't. I actually think it is a misprint in the recipe. Be sure you use a variety of apples. When it was done cooking, I just used my hand held blender and it came out perfectly smooth. No need to run through a sieve at all. I didn't use mace and the butter is absolutely AMAZING!!!!!
Made this recipe last night and followed suggestions to half the sugar and honey. It was delicious but still a bit too sweet. No regrets though, as it was great smeared on some banana bread for a snack and along with a roast pork sandwich at lunch. The house smelled wonderful when we woke up this morning with fragrant apples and spices. Wow.
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