As the leaves start to turn golden and the air becomes crisp, there's no better time to embrace the warmth of autumn in your country home. One delightful way to celebrate the season is by making homemade apple butter in your trusty crock pot. This slow-cooked delight not only fills your home with the sweet scent of apples and spices but also provides a delicious spread that can be enjoyed all year round. Here is what you need:
To make homemade apple butter, you'll need the following ingredients:
Apples: About 5-6 pounds of apples. Varieties like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or a mix of sweet and tart apples work well.
Sugar: 1 cup of granulated sugar, or adjust to taste.
Spices: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.
Lemon Juice: 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
Steps to Make Homemade Apple Butter
Step 1: Prep the Apples
Start by washing, peeling, and coring the apples. You can leave the peels on if you prefer a more rustic texture. Then, cut the apples into small chunks or slices.
Step 2: Cook in the Crock Pot
Place the prepared apples in your crock pot and add the sugar, spices, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
Step 3: Slow Cook
Set your crock pot to the low heat setting and let the mixture simmer for 6-8 hours. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Step 4: Blend and Thicken
Once the apples are soft and have cooked down into a thick, dark mixture, you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the apple butter until it's smooth and velvety. If you like a chunkier texture, you can skip this step.
Step 5: Jar and Store
Ladle the apple butter into clean, sterilized jars. Allow it to cool to room temperature before sealing the jars with lids. Store the jars in the refrigerator for immediate use or follow proper canning procedures for long-term storage.
Step 6: Enjoy
Your homemade apple butter is now ready to enjoy! Spread it on toast, biscuits, or use it as a delightful accompaniment to pork dishes. Share some with friends and family, and relish in the satisfaction of making a delicious treat from your own country homegrown apples.
Making homemade apple butter in your crock pot is a heartwarming way to embrace the flavors of autumn and savor the bounty of your country home. With just a few simple ingredients and some patience, you can create a delightful spread that will bring joy to your family and guests. So, roll up your sleeves, gather those apples, and let the aroma of simmering apples and spices fill your country kitchen. Happy apple butter-making!