Apple butter is essentially applesauce cooked (and cooked and cooked) until it’s a beautiful spreading consistency. This apple butter recipe, Sweet Spiced Crock Pot Apple Butter, starts with whole spices, orange juice, and fresh Washington apples. It makes a phenomenal spread for toast, muffins, pancakes, and even this savory sweet dip.
Because I’m obsessed with hot spiced apple cider, mulled cranberry cider, and mulled wine this time of year, I thought: Why not tweak your typical apple butter recipe to even more closely replicate those flavors?
So I simmered the apples in orange juice, adding whole cloves and allspice with a fairly heavy hand. The end result was a delicious sweet spiced apple butter that was exactly what I was after. And so I called it Sweet Spiced Apple Butter. I’m original that way.
This apple butter recipe has a two-step cooking process – first, you cook the apples down with the orange juice and the spices until you’ve essentially made applesauce, and then you put it in the Crock Pot for several hours until it cooks down to perfect apple butter consistency.
Here’s the recipe.
Sweet Spiced Apple Butter
- 4 pounds apples (I use a variety of apples and like to keep them on the sweet side, like Gala, McIntosh and Braeburn, quartered)
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice
- 1 5- inch cinnamon stick
- 2 cups sugar (to taste)
- Food mill or sieve
- Crock Pot/slow cooker
- Wash and quarter the apples.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix the orange juice, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon stick.
- Add the apples, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low, cover, and allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes, until apples are softened all the way through.
- Remove mixture from heat, and let it cool for a bit so you don't burn yourself when processing. Process the mixture through your food mill, or push it through the sieve, which will leave the leftover peels, seeds, and spices behind.
- Pour the apple mixture into your Crock Pot. Prop the lid so that the steam can escape - this is important, because the apple butter needs to cook down. You can use knives, chopsticks, what have you to prop the lid.
- [url href="http://www.kitchentreaty.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/prop-open-the-lid-apple-butter.jpg"][img src="http://www.kitchentreaty.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/prop-open-the-lid-apple-butter.jpg" alt="Sweet Spiced Crock Pot Apple Butter | Kitchen Treaty" width="630" height="420" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-9044"][/url]
- Heat on high for an hour, then reduce the heat to low, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally (but it shouldn't be the end of the world if you don't, unless your Crock Pot runs really hot - you just don't want it to burn on the bottom).
- The Apple Butter will cook down to a nice, smooth consistency and take on a delicious brown color.
- [url href="http://www.kitchentreaty.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/crock-pot-apple-butter-2.jpg"][img src="http://www.kitchentreaty.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/crock-pot-apple-butter-2.jpg" alt="Sweet Spiced Crock Pot Apple Butter | Kitchen Treaty" width="630" height="420" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-9043"][/url]
- Stir in sugar, and cook on low for another 1/2 hour or so. You may need a little more or a little less depending on how sweet your apples are.
- Pour it into jars and enjoy! If you're canning, leave 1/4 inch head space and process jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (depending on altitude) (here are [url href="http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/348/348-594/348-594.html" target="_blank"]thorough canning instructions here[/url] from the Virginia Cooperative Extension).