Last weekend, in addition to taking her monthly photos and a fun drive, I made Apple Butter for the first time. I knew I wanted something seasonal but I didn’t want anything pumpkin. I know it’s on trend and I love pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, however I don’t crave it outside of that really. Growing up my mom was a canner, and a family friend, her name is Sam, was also a big canner. I have a few very vivid memories from my early childhood and many of them include her and her family. All of her kids were close to my age. I started kindergarten and graduated high school with one of her sons. I also totaled my parents car when I was 6. He was in the back seat. I digress. Sam made/makes the most delicious apple butter, and I still snoop around in my mom’s pantry for it when I visit home. So I decided to attempt to make some of my own.
I scoured Pinterest, and as I tend to do, I pieced together a few different methods and recipes. Below is what I came up with and I love it. Juniper loves it. It’s become a great spread for everything, toast, waffles, pancakes, and Matt’s been putting it on bread with sliced bananas and she destroys it.
Label Credit Goes to Sweet Preservation who has free labels to download that I then personalized in photoshop.
- 6 pounds medium apples (I chose Red Rome Apples – They were on sale)
- 1 Tablespoon Almond extract
- ½ Tablespoon Maple extract
- ½ Tablespoon Vanilla extract
- ½ Cup sugar
- 1 ½ Cups raw or brown sugar
- 1 Teaspoon ground cloves
- 3-4 Teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon ground Nutmeg
Peel, core, and roughly chop apples. Put them in the crockpot with the extracts and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Stir every few hours. Once apples are very soft and tender, use and immersion blender and work it though until it takes on the smoothest creamiest texture you can and toss in the sugar and spices. Cook on low for another 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.
How you choose to can or store this is up to you. I am a novice still so I poured it into mason jars super hot and sealed immediately. I sat them on the counter and after about an hour the lids popped in and I put them in the fridge. I am staying on the safe side and keeping them in there. I may try an alternative method so that I can store them in the pantry next time. I got 3.5 pints from this recipe. I think next time I will do smaller jars.
I went out and purchased a large stock pot with a jar rack and an apple peeler/corer/slicer after this adventure. Peeling and coring was definitely the most time consuming part outside of the 10 hours of simmering in the crock pot. Also important to know, it will make your home smell divine so prepare for that and invite over the people in your lives that you most need to impress.