Directions for Making Apple Butter

Ingredients and Equipment
• 9 quarts of Applesauce, fresh or canned
• 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon of allspice
• 2 cups sugar

Step 1Make unsweetened applesauce!
That’s right, apple butter starts with applesauce! You can use store bought applesauce, but the apple butter won’t taste nearly as good. It’s better with your own applesauce (either previously canned or fresh made).

Step 2 – Fill the crock pot
Fill the crock pot to within an inch of full with applesauce, mine takes about 5.5 quarts. Now, you CAN do this using a regular large pot on very low heat on the stove, but the crockpot works much better, because its heat is very low. I’ve never had a batch burn in the crockpot.

Step 3 -Add the spices
• 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon of allspice
• 2 cups sugar

Step 4 – Cook the Apple butter
Set the crock pot on low or medium heat.
Cover it loosely or use a large pot splatter-guard. It will spatter as it boils slowly, so I also cover nearby surfaces with towels. You don’t want to seal it tightly because you want the steam to escape so it can reduce in volume and thicken.
Leave it to cook for 6 – 12 hours. How long depends on the size and power of your crockpot, and how thick you like it, If you want to stir it occasionally, that’s fine but not necessary. I let mine go overnight.
It will reduce in volume by about half overnight. As it cooks down (the next morning), add the remaining applesauce (about 2 or 3 quarts) and 2 more cups of sugar. Then let it cook a couple of hours more to mix the flavors.

Step 5 – Blend the apple butter (optional)
You want a smooth, creamy texture, right? The easiest way is to use a hand-held drink blender. It does a great job of making it smooth. You can also put it into a regular blender, but if you are going to do that, you might want to blend the apple sauce before you put it in the crock pot (it will be much thicker afterwards and won’t move in a regular blender).
• Too thick? if the apple butter cooks down too much or is too thick for your liking, just add a little bit of apple juice and blend it in.
• Not thick enough? Just let it cook some more, with the lid off so the steam can escape!
Now you can fill freezer jars or prepare to can. See canning directions.

Yields about 9 – 10 pints

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