Every Christmas, I look forward to being sent a gift bag from my granny, the lovely Esther Porter. Each year, she lovingly makes a batch of her mouthwatering homemade apple butter and cans it, adding a jar to a Christmas bag to be sent out to each of her grandchildren. She adds lots of homemade Christmas cookies too: chocolate chip (my personal favorite), sugar, and more. And things like Santa potholders, dish towels and candles... whatever she finds that she thinks we will enjoy. I always feel so warm and fuzzy when I get to open my Christmas bag and the feeling continues each time I dive into one of these treats.
Yesterday, my family stopped by a pumpkin patch and they were selling delicious apples that were fresh picked from a local orchard! They looked so good, I decided to buy some and try my hand at Granny's Apple Butter recipe. For a special fall treat, I've decided to share it with you! You just have to agree to one thing before you make it: be like Granny and gift a jar to someone you love. The whole batch will probably taste better if you do!
I found that Braeburn apples work best for this recipe because they break-down really easily when cooked. You'll need about 3 lb. Fill your slow-cooker with peeled, cored and sliced apples. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, salt and water/cider (I used water) and stir until evenly mixed. Cover and cook on low setting for about 7-9 hours or until the butter is of a thick, spreadable consistency. If apple butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until thickened. Stir often as butter thickens to prevent scorching. If it looks like its getting too thick but needs to be cooked longer, add water or cider, 1/4 cup at a time, then stir.
Variation: For a less sweet apple butter, try substituting 1 cup honey for the sugar.
Yield: approximately 5 cups. Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Freeze or can for longer storage. To can, pack into hot jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace and let sit in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Jars are sealed once the pop-top is depressed.