I've been meaning to make apple butter for several seasons now, and I finally got to it this year. I haven't had it in years and remember it being perfect on toast, oatmeal, pancakes and a million other delicious treats. I wanted to make a healthy version that wasn't a total sugar bomb, and preferably one that I didn't have to babysit. I decided on a crock pot version and went with more sweet apples than tart apples to replace the sugar. I also added some of my favorite flavors in the spice department to ensure this had a depth of flavor.
Bonus: My house smelled better than a Yankee Candle Store for the 35 hours that this stuff cooked down.
Sugar Free Spiced Apple Butter Recipe
15 pounds apples (I used mostly gala and honeycrisp, but also a few fuji and granny smith)
|First batch of chopped apples, second of shredded apples|
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice
Wash the apples thoroughly and line your crock pot with a liner that fits - this is a messy process. Start coring and chopping the apples and placing into your slow cooker until it's full. Add the lid and set on low for 10 hours. Check back in a few hours and use a potato masher to break down and mix up the apples. Fill it again with more cored and chopped apples. I used my food processor to shred the apples quickly and speed up the cooking process, but that's your call.
Season the cooking butter only after it's been cooking for at least 10 hours. Mash and mix the apples whenever you get the chance, then add more apples and cook for another 10 hours.
When you've added all your apples and it's been cooking for at least 30 hours, assess the flavor and texture. You might want to cook it on high with the lid off to thicken it, or you could add water back to the mix if you feel it's too thick. You could also blend it with an immersion blender, food processor or food mill, but I like mine chunky.
I canned more than half of mine, froze some and ate a ton. It's great on toast!