Autumn in Washington State is a magical time in our farmers markets. There is a bounty of squash, hearty greens and of course the mighty apple.
In the state where most apples are born in the good 'ol U. S. of A., I was amazed that my born and raised Northwestern husband didn't know what apple butter was. Of course, not every family from the same region eats the same meals, but I have a feeling my (half) southern roots might have given me a higher chance of exposure to the buttery gold. I knew I had a task - nay, an obligation - to make this a familiar spread in our household.
Really you can use any apples, even a mixture, in this recipe. I liked using the Gala variety because they start at a slightly creamy level right when you take a bite into them. That creaminess it what helps give the illusion of the buttery name this recipe was given. Enjoy on a piece of warm soft bread, slathered on a pancake ... or licked off your finger. It's a known side effect.
Crock Pot Apple Butter
Makes about 1 and 1/4 quart
5 lbs. Gala apples, peeled and cored
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
- Wash and shred all of the apples, excluding the core and stem.
- Put all of the ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Stir the mixture that has broken down but still has texture, and blend everything with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. There will still be some liquid left.
- Put everything back into crock pot and cook on low, uncovered, until the consistency is like soft butter. This can be between 2-4 hours.
- The last step can be set on high if you stir about every 30 minutes so the apple butter doesn’t burn.