I have always been a big fan of apple butter. I love the flavor of fall that it brings to a buttery English muffin or a whole grain piece of toast. I also do not particularly like the consistency of jelly (unless it is spread over a lightly toasted slice of buttered white bread prepared by my Granny), but apple butter is different. It is creamy in a way that jelly is disgustingly gelatinous. A few years back, I started using apple butter to make a "fancy" version of grilled cheese, a grilled cheese worthy of being served for dinner. It's particularly good with extra sharp cheddar and thinly sliced apples on seedy bread.
There are a couple of different methods you can use to make apple butter. This particular one is simmered overnight in a slow cooker (one of my favorite cooking methods), then pureed in a blender. It’s an "eat it now or freeze for later" version, meaning that this is not a recipe suitable for canning and long-term storage.
We ate through our first jar pretty quickly. It really elevated a standard peanut butter sandwich. I have two more batches in the freezer which I am looking forward to pulling out soon- maybe for a brie appetizer on Thanksgiving? What’s your favorite way to eat apple butter? Do you enjoy any other flavored butters? I like both the fig and pumpkin butters from Trader Joes.
6½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used a combination of Fuji, Gala, and Jonagold)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Place apples in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Sprinkle over the apples and stir gently to combine. Cook on the low setting for 10 hours.
2. Stir in vanilla extract, breaking up any large chunks of apples that remain. Cover and cook for an additional 2-3 hours.
3. Remove cover and place apples in a blender in batches to puree until completely smooth.
4. Allow the mixture to cool, then spoon into jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months. Makes about 6 cups.
Recipe Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker