Alisa Fleming ~ For our last fall CSA delivery we received 2 bushels (that’s a heck of a lot more than 2 pounds people!) of little organic apples. Some were good for snacking, but I can only eat so many apples out of hand. Since many of them were pint-sized, peeling for pies wasn’t a great option. But I wondered, how would they fare, peels and all, with a long, slow cooking throughout the day? And thus, this recipe for crockpot apple butter was born.
As it turned out, the peels practically melted into the apple butter, providing extra nutrition and preventing a ton of work. At first, I referenced some crockpot apple butter recipes online, but they all called for boat loads of sugar. Why in the world would such a naturally sweet fruit need so much added sweetener? So I winged it.
I ended up adding a wee dose of sweet, just a touch really, to balance the flavors. You can go sans sugars altogether and enjoy some truly pure crockpot apple butter, or increase the sweetener to taste, if desired. I also discoverd that apple cider vinegar works deliciously when you don’t have any lemon juice on hand,
This crockpot apple butter is excellent for using in recipes (apple butter muffins anyone?), slathering on toast (I liked it with a little swirled with nut butter, too!), using as a partial substitute for dairy butter in baked goodies, or even, canning and giving as a holiday gift!
- 2 lbs chopped apple*
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Place the chopped apples in your crockpot (for a mini-crockpot, halve the recipe). Add the remaining ingredients and stir to coat.
- Place the crockpot setting on low, cover and allow the apples to cook for 4 to 6 hours.
- Pour the apples into your blender (you may need to do this in two batches), let them cool for 10 minutes, and then puree.
- Return the pureed apple to your crockpot, turn the setting up to high, and cook uncovered for about 1 hour, checking in to stir every 10 minutes.
- Let the apple butter cool, then place it in your blender for a second puree. This should make it nice and creamy.
- It will keep in the refrigerator for several days, you can freeze it for later use, or can it for storage or gift-giving.