October 14, 2009
I made apple butter at Christmas for several years because Daddy liked it. I’m not sure if he especially loved my version as much as his favorite store-bought brand, but he always acted like he did. Apple butter still reminds me of him whenever I think about it or smell it or taste it. I haven’t made it in a long time, and it’s kind of bittersweet to make it now knowing I can’t take him a jar of it.
But I did make apple butter again for the first time since he’s been gone. I had 6 giant Fuji apples left after the Gooey Apple Cake/Cobbler stuff, and didn’t want them to go to waste. I was super busy on Sunday getting ready for our BlogWorld trip, so I didn’t have time to fuss around with a boiling, spitting, scorching pot of apples on the stove. The solution? My underutilized crockpot, of course!
I added a cup of water to the apples to get them started, but I’ve seen crockpot apple butter recipes that don’t use any water at all, and I suppose they might take slightly less cooking time. My apple butter was in the crockpot on high heat for 10 hours, and then the next day I still wanted it a little thicker so I simmered it on really low heat on the stove for another hour. Just cook it til it looks the way you want.
The flavor in this is exactly the way I wanted it. I love that it’s not very sweet, and has the zip of the lemon and the perfect blend of incredibly flavorful spices from Penzeys. I think Daddy might like it too.
Crockpot Apple Butter
6 large Fuji apples: peeled, cored and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
Healthy dash of salt
Place all ingredients into crockpot, and mix together. Cook on high heat until desired thickness is reached; probably 10-12 hours. Use a stick blender for a smoother consistency if you wish (I wished). Best served on a big steaming buttered homemade biscuit!
Note: I plan on finishing this up within the next few weeks and keeping it chilled, so I didn’t worry about the whole canning/processing procedure.