I'm a huge fan of apple butter - not from the store - but homemade apple butter. I used to make it in the oven - stirring it often to keep it from burning - and having the oven on at least all day. Then along came crock pots. Now apple butter is simple.Gather your apples, some of these I bought - some were given to me - all were wonderfully delicious.
Cut an apple or two in half horizontally to see the star in the apple
Get in close - see the dots and lines radiating out from the seeds - I love the center of the apple - it is like the center of the universe.
Peel the rest of the apples with the handy-dandy apple peeler/corer. My mom gave me this peeler/corer in the 70s. It is very similar to the original model, mostly because it works so well that no changes were needed.
The apples come off in spiral slices - ready for the crock pot. I use organic apples and they turn a little brown before I get the crock pot filled.
Put all the sliced and peeled apples in the crock pot with 1/2 can of frozen apple juice - do not dilute it. Twelve pounds of apples filled the crock pot so full I couldn't get the lid on tight
After two hours the lid fit better
Cook all day on high - stir now and then - and I added 5 more pounds of apples, once there was room in the crock pot, after the first apples had cooked down a bit
When the apples are mostly mush (you can help them along by mashing with the potato masher) add in the sugar and spices. This really is according to taste - I start with 2 cups of raw sugar, 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon and 4 Tablespoons of cloves. I love the taste of cloves so usually end up adding a couple more Tablespoons of cloves - it all depends on how you want it to taste.
Cook overnight on low - then in the morning turn it up to high until it boils. This is how much it cooked down - 17 pounds of apples filled the crock pot about 3/4 full of apple butter
Can with your favorite method - and then I let it sit for a week if I can bear to wait, before opening. Sometimes I have to eat it right away if I'm out of apple butter from the last batch. (I already opened one jar before I took this photo). Home made bread, toasted, with apple butter and a cup of hot tea - now that is heaven!!!
One really nice thing about making apple butter is that you don't have to wait for apples to come into season - in NW Washington we can often find locally grown apples at year round farm stands - as well as the grocery stores.