When Keith’s Aunt Carol gave us a huge box of apples from a local orchard, my mind was going crazy trying to figure out what to do with them! These apples weren’t the type you can buy in a store, but were somewhat similar in flavor to a red delicious. Usually, when making apple recipes, you wouldn’t use such a sweet apple, but I just had to put them to work! What I came up with is a No Sugar Added recipe that came 100% out of my brain after browsing websites on how to make apple butter.
Sweet Apples: enough to fill your crock pot
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2/3 cup(+) Spiced Rum*
1/3 Cup Water
Optional: Brown Sugar to taste
First, get lots of apples. Meaning, about 10-15, depending on how big they are. I used a 6 quart crock-pot, and so I used enough to fill the pot with the sliced apples.
Next, as you may have guessed, core and slice the apples. Now, I didn’t peel mine because I’m lazy. I suppose you can peel them, and if you don’t have an immersion blender, or food processor to break them up later, you’ll want to peel. Just core them and slice them using one of those handy tools made for it, and drop them in to the pot as you go. That way you don’t core too many. I mounded my crock pot a bit because they cook way down.
After your pot is filled, sprinkle on the cinnamon, ground cloves, rum, and water.
Give it a stir and turn on the crock pot to low, and set the lid on, but don’t clamp it. Set it slightly off so that steam can escape. You want to lose water here.
Then go and watch a movie… or 6. It takes a long time for these to cook down. Just keep stirring every now and then. About every hour. Here’s a nice little trick: If you start it before bed or work, it doesn’t really need much stirring the first 8 hours. Just start the stirring after you get up in the morning, or get home from work. You’re looking at 12+ hours of crock-potting (?) before it’s thick enough.
Here’s where you may want the immersion blender (stick blender ?). If your apple butter isn’t as smooth as you like, or you left the peels on, like me, get that thing out and blend it up! I blended mine right in the crock pot. If you don’t have this handy device, use your food processor, blender, or even a potato masher would help. **Be Careful! The liquid is boiling hot!!**
If it’s not where you want it, cook it some more!! The more liquid you used, the longer it will take.
Now, I added a little brown sugar at the end for flavor and rich color. When I say a little, I mean less than 1/2 cup. Mine needed a little, but yours may not.
You’ll end up with a couple of jars of apple butter at the end of this long long process. Please go to canning websites for proper ways to can apple butter. My favorite canning website is:
Every single time I can something, I go here, or eventually end up here. They know it all.
*A note about the rum: when I was done, it didn’t have much ‘rum’ taste to it. I would recommend increasing this amount, and maybe not even using water at all. If you increase it, you may have to cook the liquid off longer. I might even jump that to 2 cups next time I do it.