Mama Nibbles: Homemade Apple Butter Crockpot Recipe - Thanksgiving Dinner

Homemade Apple Butter Crockpot Recipe - Thanksgiving Dinner

     Right now we are all probably planning the details and menus for our Thanksgiving day meals.  This week I will be posting a part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal, I hope you will follow along with me as we enjoy the delicious items that come together to form one of the most special times of the year.  This recipe also makes nice Christmas gifts.  Homemade is from the heart!
     Every year there is always this super amazing sale on apples at my local grocery store.  This year was no different, they were .49 cents per pound which is a steal!  Apple butter is one of my most favorite ways to preserve the delicious tastes of fall and so I have created my own delicious recipe.       This recipe is simple to make, once all the ingredients are in you just turn on your crock pot and let it do its work for a full 24 hours.  I only use Gala apples because they are what give my butter its unique and perfect taste.  Gala apples don't bruise as easily as most apples and have that wonderful sweet but slightly tart flavor.  These apples store very well and I have been able to keep them for months in my fridge.  When you taste this apple butter recipe you will want to eat it ALL!  The nice thing to do is share lol, so I have included canning directions as well. 
     This recipe makes 6 - 8 oz jelly jars full plus one for you to eat right away hehe...Enjoy!  Hopefully this lasts until Thanksgiving day, it is amazing on biscuits or fresh rolls.  Once open you want to finish a jar within 7-10 days for the best quality.
6lbs gala apples, peeled and cored you should end up with 5 lbs 7-8 oz
2 cups apple cider (I use the sparkling apple cider that is not too sweet)
2 tsp Saigon cinnamon, plus a pinch more if you like cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg (use a pinch less if using fresh)
3-4 tbsp Tropical Traditions raw honey

1.  Core all the apples, peel them, slice into 1" sized cubes and throw into a really big bowl (or two!).  My kids love to eat the peels, they can be a fun snack.
2.  Add the rest of the ingredients onto the apples then toss lightly to coat.
3.  Pour all into the crock pot (mine is 6 qts size), it will be bursting with apples but do not worry they will cook down.
4.  Plug the pot in and turn on low, keep the lid on (as good as it will fit if they are overflowing lol) for the first 20 hours and then off to the side for the last 4.  The whole house will smell amazing!
5.  Stir the apples with a rubber spatula after the first 10 hours have passed. 
6.  Stir again after another 10 hours, this is when you will slide the top to the side so that moisture can escape as they cook down even more.
7.  As they cook down and thicken in those last four hours you will want to keep an eye on them just in case your crock pot is different.  You want them to be a nice brown color with a bit of liquid still in there.
8.  In the last hour take an immersion blender and blend them up into "butter".  Be very careful, this will be very hot and you don't want to burn yourself!  I like to submerge it and slowly move it around until all apples are blended smoothly.
9.  In this last hour you will also want to prepare the canning area and jars.  If you are not familiar with canning or just don't have the time then this recipe also freezes just fine, no worries!  If you choose the freezer be sure to use it up within 6 months.
 10.  Set up your canning area. 
When I set up my canning area I make sure that everything is really clean, sanitized/disinfected and free of anything that could contaminate the food I am going to can.  I don't own any special or pricey equipment, just my normal stock pot and some old tongs. 
11.  Jars.  I like to purchase Ball brand jelly jars, they come with the lids and some cute stickers to label your jars once you are finished canning.  I just sanitize them in the dishwasher an hour before I am ready to begin canning.
12.  Prepping the jars and lids.  I fill a bowl with super hot water and put in all my jars and lids, for this recipe you will need 7 - 8 oz jelly jars (6 if you want to just throw some uncanned into the fridge).  Let those sit in that hot water until right before you are going to fill them.
13.  Get your stockpot or canner pot boiling with cover on, full of enough water to fully cover the jars once they are in.  You will want a rack in the bottom of your canner but if you don't have a special rack you can use several cheap butter knives like I did.  I just criss crossed about 6 or 7 knives in the bottom of my pot and it does the job just fine, just so the jars are not sitting on the bottom of the pot. 
14.  Filling the jars.  Once the water is boiling it is go time!  Have a wet cloth ready to wipe the sides and lips of the jars in case you spill a little.  Fill each jar almost full with a small ladle, leaving 1 inch at the top empty then screw on the lids until just tight. You want to work quickly so that the jars are all still fairly hot.  Once all are full then take the tongs and set them into your pot, cover and boil for 14 minutes.  Note: if you live above 6,000 ft altitude then add 5 more minutes to the boiling time.
15.  Finished product.  Once the time is up, turn off the heat and let the jars rest for about 5 minutes in the water.  Take your jars out with the tongs and rest on a towel for 12-24 hours before your disturb them.  Don't worry, the lids will suck in.  make sure they are in the place that no one will bother them at.  So now your delicious apple butter is all ready and shelf stable for 18 months to 2 years!  Spread on anything you wish.  Our favorite thing to top is a warm biscuit right out of the oven.  I hope I didn't miss anything, if you have any questions please leave me a comment.

*If you share my recipe please reference my site and link to this post, thanks.

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