Apple season has been going on for a while around here; however, I seem to be running a bit late with making all of my apple goodies. Nonetheless, the time has begun, and I have started this year with apple butter. I particularly like this recipe because it is all done in the crockpot. The recipe calls for not peeling the apples first, which I have read gives you a much better flavor in your final product. All of the ingredients make for a perfect blend. And the aroma in your kitchen while it is cooking is delightful. In fact when my kids were younger, they would tell me that "it smelled like Christmas".
Cider Apple Butter
5 lbs. cooking apples
1 1/2 cups apple cider
about 3 cups of brown sugar
juice and grated peel of 1 each lemon and orange
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. each cloves and nutmeg
Core and quarter apples, but do not peel. Place in crockpot with apple cider. Cook on high until very soft, about 1-1/2 hours. (Note: It takes about 2-1/2 hrs. in my crockpot). Press cooked apples through a food mill or sieve. (I don't have a food mill, so I just very patiently remove all of the apple peel). Measure. There should be about 6 cups. For every 1 cup fruit pulp, allow 1/2 cup brown sugar. Return to crockpot. Stir in lemon and orange peel and juice, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Cover and cook on high until thick and dark, about 4 hours. Immediately pour into hot, sterilized glass jars and seal according to proper boiling/water bath canning requirements. Makes about 8 cups.