Each year city kids and their families flock to country apple orchards to get their seasonal fix. But after an afternoon of cider drinking, apple picking, and general fall revelry, they’re left to haul home a two-pound bag of Granny Smiths, Fugis, and Macintoshes. So what’s a parent to do with so much fruit? Two words: apple butter. And to make it even better, we’ll add two more: crock pot apple butter.
This is the kind of recipe that spawned the phrase, “Set it, and forget it.” Put the ingredients in your slow cooker at night, and by morning you’ll have a sweet spread to pair with your favorite biscuit recipe.
And if you’re still scratching your head as to how a fruit butter differs from a jam or a jelly, read through this forum from Food 52. Long story short, it all comes down to consistency.
Check out the ingredients below for a recipe from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, and if you want to keep your apple butter fresh for weeks to come, click over to our simple guide to canning.
5 pounds (about 10 large) mixed apples, peeled, cored, and cut into medium-size pieces
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 whole star anise pod
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups fresh apple cider
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice