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Video:How to Make Apple Butter

with Elizabeth LaBau

Apple butter is a delicious autumn spread that's perfect on toast, muffins, or pancakes.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Apple Butter

Ingredients for Apple Butter

To make apple butter, you will need:
  • 5 1/2 pounds apples, any type you enjoy eating
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A slow cooker

Peel and Chop Apples

All of the apples have to be peeled and chopped before we can start making the apple butter, so get comfortable with that peeler and take the skin off all of the apples. Next they need to be cored and finely chopped. Since we’re doing so many apples, I’ll show you my favorite fast method of chopping apples.

Stand an apple upright on a cutting board, and cut the four sides off around the core. Now cut each segment into thin slices, and chop the slices into small pieces. This is the easiest way I know of to cut lots of apples in a short amount of time.

Put Apples in Slow Cooker with Spices and Sugar

Give them one more pass with the knife, then put them in the slow cooker. It might be possible to make this on the stovetop, but it would require lots of monitoring and stirring to make sure the apples don’t burn, so if you have a slow cooker, it’s MUCH easier to just use that.

Add the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt to the apples, and stir really well until everything is combined. Cover it and cook this mixture on high for one hour.

Cook the Apple Mixture

After an hour, turn the heat to low, give the apples a stir, and cook it for another 10-12 hours. I usually do the prep in the evening and let it cook overnight while I sleep.

After the long, low cook time, the apples should be very fragrant and dark brown. Don’t be worried by their color! You’ll notice there’s a lot of juice still, so we’re going to cook this for another hour or two uncovered, on low, just to evaporate some of the liquid.

Blend the Apples

Now it’s thicker, and some of the liquid is gone. We’re ready for the last step, which is blending the apples. They’re really soft, so it should be no problem to get them smooth. If you have a handheld immersion blender you can use that. If not, just transfer the apples to a regular blender and blend them in small batches until everything is smooth.

Can or Serve Apple Butter

If you’re not sure whether your apple butter is done, put a small spoonful on a plate. If it holds its shape, it’s ready. If it spreads out in a puddle, cook it longer to evaporate more liquid.

If you have canning equipment, you can can this in sterile jars. Otherwise you can just put it into containers and keep it in the refrigerator or freezer. This apple butter is smooth, sweet, spicy, and bursting with apple flavor. It’s the perfect topping for toast, muffins, pancakes, or anything that needs a little taste of fall.
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