Apple butter is a highly concentrated sauce which is made by cooking the apples on low heat for long time. The sugar content in the apple as well the extra sugar added during the process caramelizes, giving apple butter a dark brown colour. It is also because of the higher concentration of sugar that apple butter has a much longer shelf life as compared to the traditional apple sauce.
Apples - 6 pounds
Sugar - 1 ½ cup
Brown sugar - 1 ½ cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tbsp
Ground cinnamon - 2 tsp
Ground cloves - ¼ tsp
Ground nutmeg - ¼ tsp
Wash your apples thoroughly under running water and allow them to drain.
Peel the apples using a peeler or a sharp knife and dice them up.
You don’t need to worry about the shape and size of apple pieces since the end product will be nothing more than mashed apples.
Put all the apples in the crock pot and add one tablespoon of vanilla extract as well.
Make sure your crock pot is full of fruit, so peel as many apples as you need for that.
Turn the crock pot on low and cook for 6 to 8 hours, while checking and stirring it every two hours.
If your crock pot cooks a bit quicker, the apples should be done in around six hours.
Now add 1 ½ cup each of brown sugar and white sugar.
Also add the spices (ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground cloves).
Stir the mixture thoroughly and cook on low heat for another 5 to 6 hours or until it is dark brown in colour and reaches a spreadable consistency.
You need to continue stirring the cooking mixture after every half an hour.
Ladle hot apple butter to sterilized pint size canning jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.
Process the jars in a water bath canner for 10 to 12 minutes and then store in the refrigerator.