Apple Butter

This year for Christmas I decided to try my hand at some homemade treats for the people on my list. I had a hankering for some apple butter, so I found this recipe, doubled it, and doctored it to my liking. I really upped the spice factor from the original recipe. Also, I left the peels on the apples in the initial steps so that I could get as much apple flavor as possible in the apple butter. Using the ricer really helps give the apple butter a very smooth texture.

Homemade Apple Butter

Yields 16 1/2 pint jars

9 lbs fuji apples
3 lbs granny smith apples
4 cups sugar
3 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1 tsp fresh ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt

Core and chop the apples leaving peels on. Place all ingredients in slow cooker (I used 2 giant slow cookers for all of this at the beginning). Mix ingredients well. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook covered at least 8 hours (overnight!) or until thickened and dark.
Using a fine mesh sieve or ricer, press the apple butter to remove the peels. Return the apple butter to the slow cooker (it all fit into one cooker at this point), and cook uncovered on low for an additional hour.
…So this is the part where I transferred the whole thing to a big pot on the stove and cranked the heat high for canning. I won’t go into the steps involved in canning here because I am no expert and don’t want to give someone the wrong advice. However, I will say that cranking the heat high for the hot pack canning really reduced my apple butter to the point where it’s very concentrated. So you will probably get a bigger yield out of the apple butter than I did. Next time, I probably won’t cook the apple butter for the last hour uncovered to keep it a little less concentrated.