The Apple Butter Mystery Has Been Solved!

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In 2011, I posted my Apple Pie Butter recipe. In the connected post, I whined about my inability to find Musselman’s Apple Butter when I first moved to New York. And though that apple butter was good, it wasn’t Musselman’s. Or my version of it.

Over the years, I kind of set aside my quest, settling instead for applesauce. But this year, the desire for homemade apple butter returned. Big time! So I tried again. And by George, I think I’ve got it!!! At least a version of it.

Two things I wanted: 1. To be able to cook the apples in a slow cooker, and 2. Not too sweet. The former seems to be a preferred manner of cooking applesauce and apple butter, but I was late to the party. No big surprise there. As for the second, that’s one of the best things about making your own. You can make it as sweet or not sweet as you like. Well, that and knowing what’s in it.

Just like when I make applesauce, I used a mixture of apples. I used Gala, Mcintosh, Paula Reds, and Granny Smith apples in equal numbers. Use what you like and have on hand. I like the Granny Smith because they help cut the sweetness. The Paula Reds are new to me this year. I picked some up at a local orchard and love them.

I washed and cored the apples, and then I cut them into chunks. No, I didn’t peel. But if you prefer to peel them, do. I filled my 2-quart slow cooker almost full. I added about a third of a cup of water. You could, of course, add apple juice instead.

Once tender, I sent the apples spinning in the Vitamix until they reached the consistency I wanted. If you cut them small enough, they may break down enough that is not needed. Back into the slow cooker they went, along with the spices I used: cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I added my choice of sweeteners–raw cane sugar and brown sugar. And then I let them cook until thick and gorgeous, about 3 hours. I propped the lid open with a wooden spoon for the last 2 hours or so to encourage it to get its thickest and best.

So how do you know it’s done? Well, it should mound on a spoon. And if you put some on a plate, liquid won’t start running away from the butter.

When done, I stirred in lemon juice. Now, at this point, you can put it in an airtight container, let cool, and refrigerate. You can also let it cool and freeze it. Me? I canned it.

I am very pleased with this apple butter. Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a tweak here and there. That’s the fun part of cooking.

Here’s my recipe for apple butter.

© Copyright 2017 Ida Walker, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Enabling Cook
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