I like to cook, particularly when fall comes around. Maybe it’s just something in the air. Or maybe it’s just the realization that winter is coming and we have that instinct kicking in to store food away for the season. I don’t know.
I wanted to make apple butter, but didn’t want to do the actual canning process. I mean, that takes a lot of time that I found I have not had lately. Plus, my canning pot is sort of busted. And the actual cooking over the stove part? That’s kind of tedious too.
So, I opted for my trusty crockpot! All I had to do was peel and cut the apples, add the spices, throw it all in and leave it in there until it was done. Genius!
I started off with this recipe for Apple Butter from Betty Crocker with a few modifications (see below)
12medium Granny Smith or other cooking apples, peeled and cut into fourths
1 1/2cups packed brown sugar
1/2cup apple juice
1tablespoon ground cinnamon
1tablespoon lemon juice
1teaspoon ground allspice
1teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2teaspoon ground cloves
1. Mix all ingredients in 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours or until apples are very tender.
3. Mash apples with potato masher or large fork.
4. Cook uncovered on low heat setting 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very thick. Cool about 2 hours.
5. Spoon apple butter into container. Cover and store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.
I made a couple modifications to the recipe. I used Cortland apples-they are so crispy and have just the right flavor. I left out the brown sugar-I thought it might be way too sweet-and substituted the apple juice with apple cider only because that’s what I had on hand. However, the apple butter turned out just as good. I tossed everything in and left it in the crockpot overnight (about 10 hours) on Low. The house smelled absolutely heavenly the whole night and into the next day. So much better than one of those air-freshener candles-who knows what’s in those…..
Anyway….I used these plastic freezer jars from Ball. I was very pleased to find out that they are BPA-free and appear to be very sturdy with a good, tight seal.**(see note below)
It turned out absolutely delicious, something my daughter likes to eat (surprise, surprise!) and it was super easy to make. A great option for time-constrained Moms. Or, you know, you’re just feeling too lazy to do it all on the stove. Hey, we all feel a little lazy now and then.
I’d probably double the recipe next time (this only made 3 1/2 cups), as it goes fast in this house. Next crockpot project? Pumpkin Butter.
*By the way, this is not a sponsored post. What is written here is purely my opinion and experience.*
**As an afterthought, I’m not particularly fond of the Ball freezer jars. The lids were very hard to get on and off-I actually sliced my finger trying to open one. Also, the lids kept popping off after they were in the freezer for a couple days. It appeared as if they were sealed properly, so I don’t know what was going on with that. I probably won’t use those again. Since then, I’ve used these containers from Rubbermaid with success. Can’t say if they aren’t BPA-free, which is a bit disappointing. They were, however, the perfect size and held up great in the freezer.
About Kris Underwood
Kris Underwood is the Social Media Manager at Hunger Mountain (Vermont College of Fine Arts). Poetry has appeared in several publications including MotherVerse, mamazine.com and Poetry Midwest. I read books & write about them on my blog sometimes.