Thursday, November 10, 2011

Amish Crock Pot Apple Butter

     Apple butter takes me right back to Lancaster, Pennsylvania Amish country where I first sampled this thick, spice infused goodness.  The laundry, hung out to dry, flapping in the wind next to rows and rows of corn filled my window that morning.  A black buggy driven by a stately man dressed in all black with the Amish style beard waved as he rode by.  I couldn't help but feel that I had stepped back into time, and I pretended that I was Amish -- for like 5 minutes.  For those 5 minutes, I really thought I'd try to fall in love with an Amish man and join this simpler, peaceful way of life.  Anyway, now you know that I am completely fascinated by the Amish, and if I had to join any group, it would probably be them.... because they make amazing apple this one.  I just changed it a bit for the good ol' crock pot!
     The one thing I don't like about traditional apple butter recipes, is that you have to use your hard-earned homemade applesauce to make it, and it cooks down to nothing.  THIS recipe is made from the apples directly, so there isn't that extra step of turning it into applesauce before cooking.  
STEP 1:  Peel, core, and slice the apples.
 STEP 2:  Place the apples in the crock pot and mix in seasonings and sugar.  Cover and cook for 8-10 hours.
 STEP 3:  The apples should have turned in to apple butter by the end of the cooking time.  I like mine smooth, so I puree the mixture with an immersion blender.

 STEP 4:  Adjust any seasonings or the sweetness and ladle into jars.

 STEP 5:  I like to can my jars in a water bath, but they can also be frozen at this point and kept in the freezer if you don't want to can.  
 STEP 6:  Enjoy!

6 lbs. mixed variety apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 3/4 cups apple cider
2  cups sugar
2 1/2  cups brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1  tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Place all ingredients in the crock pot and mix well.  Cook on the high setting for 2 hours, stirring periodically. Turn the crock to low and cook 7-8 more hours.  Puree with an immersion blender if desired for a smoother consistency.  

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