Jelly, jam, preserves! All things that would make Luke from Gilmore Girls shudder with the idea of “jam hands.” Was that the best moment in that show or what? Anyway, each are a wonderful contribution to that beautiful thing called breakfast. But the downside is that most contain a bit more sugar than we sometimes want to start the day with (Ahem. I did say sometimes. There are those moments when nothing says 7 am like an eclair.) But at times when you’re being good and looking high and low for something to spread on your toast, smear on your bagel, or cuddle up in a sandwich next to peanut butter, look no further. It’s apple butter! And it’s good for you! Can I get a Hee Haw?
Now this apple butter is pretty darn easy. I’ve made it several times, and now I think I could probably do it now with my eyes closed. Warning: this involves coring apples. NEVER attempt to core apples with your eyes closed. You’ll have a bad time. 😉
Don’t let the fifteen hour cook time scare you. It’s in a slow cooker. Are you scared? No, don’t go! Come on back, now. Sit down. Don’t go to YouTube to look at cat videos quite yet. Just stick with me here. You can do this. Take a deep breath. You core apples, stick them in the slow cooker with spices and apple juice, and then you just wait. The way a Bond arch-nemesis sits and waits for 007 to free himself. Not as much adrenaline, though. And here’s a plus: you’re house will smell like you walked into an orchard.
Sometimes when I make this the boys and Pie wander in and look up at me, expecting something. Why cats would be interested in the smell of apples is beyond me. Maybe they just like making things. I imagine when they go down to their secret super hero lab they probably make things too:
Dollop into smoothies, spread onto baked oatmeal. One taste of this and you’ll be doing the apple butter shuffle. It’s kind of like the truffle shuffle from The Goonies, except you’re eating a piece of toast at the same time.
Until next time, love and dessert!
- 10 medium apples (I've used everything from Honeycrisp to Red Delicious. I'd stay away from Granny Smith or your butter might turn out too tart.)
- 2 cups unsweetened apple juice or unsweetened apple cider
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. ground gloves
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- A pinch of kosher salt.
- Core and slice the apples into large pieces. (Do NOT peel them).
- Place the apples in a slow cooker.
- Pour the juice, water, and cider vinegar into the slow cooker along with the spices.
- Cook on low for 15 hours.
- After finished, let this mixture cool off for a while (about an hour), so you don't burn yourself when working with it.
- Place cooked apple butter into a blender in stages, pulsing until you reach a smooth consistency.
- Store in the fridge for a couple weeks, or in the freezer for months. Enjoy!