In our neck of the woods local apples are in season again. They are a crisp tart variey that when cooked up into anything they are delicious! I have not made apple butter in years, but this season I was most interested to encourage a little boy who when learning that Johnny Appleseed made apples into apple butter so they could have apples in the winter wanted to do just that! It is a simple way to say I love you! So we bought apples and apple cider with no sugar added and this morning went to work cutting up the delcious apples.
After cutting up the apples we added other ingredients from this recipe found at Always Order Desert.
Cinnamon Apple Butter (No Sugar Added)
This recipe is made without any added sugars to highlight the natural sweetness of the apples and juice. You can use any apples you'd like, but try to pick a sweeter variety such as Macintosh or Jonathan; Granny Smith apples don't work quite as well in this recipe due to their acidity. You can also play around with the juice for slightly different flavors. Try using grape, pomegranate, or pear juice (avoid citrus juices).
8 Macintosh Apples, cored & sliced but not peeled
3 cups apple cider or apple juice (preferably no sugar added)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
In the base of your slow mixer, add the apples followed by the spices, lemon juice, and apple juice. The cider should just cover the apples, but they shouldn't be swimming in it. If you need a little more, add it. Set the slow cooker to "low" for 12-15 hours. (I find it's best to get it going at night just before you go to bed; when you wake up it'll be just about done.)
Once the apples have softened, darkened, and much of the liquid has reduced, use a standard or immersion blender (or a food mill) to process until smooth.
If the apple butter is still a bit wet after the end of cooking time (due to the size of apples or the range of your slow cooker) transfer the apple butter to a large pot and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the apple butter has thickened (take care because the mixture will splatter).
Let the apple butter cool completely before pouring into a glass jar or air-tight container. This will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
Todays adventure in cooking inspired by Johnny Apppleseed First Biographies