Sugarless Apple Butter
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Three years ago I shared my recipe for sugarless apple butter. (see post here) It has been a hugely popular post (who knew people Google searched "sugarless apple butter" so often?)
I still make the same recipe each year and I thought this year I'd re-share it, filling in some
more details and suggestions~
A Ton of Apples (this year we used a bushel)
Wash and core the apples, leaving the peels on. Depending on the amount of apples you have, either put them directly into a slow cooker (crock pot) or if you have too many - like I did this year- place the apples in a large stockpot. Add a thin layer of water in the bottom of the pot and turn on medium-low.
Cook the apples down, stirring and mashing as they soften. Depending on how much the apples shrink, you may be able to transfer them to a slow cooker.
*It would be ideal if you can get the apples to the slow cooker to make the apple butter. This year I just had too many apples so I finished the entire process on the stove top.
Once the apples soften, cook, covered on low heat for many, many hours (this is why the slow cooker is so handy). Stir occasionally. As the hours wear on, the water will begin evaporating from the apples and it will thicken over time.
Add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (again, depends on the amount of apples you are using). Continue to cook down until it thickens even more and darkens in color.
Once you feel like you have an apple butter consistency, take a taste. This is what a sugarless apple butter tastes like. Very much like...an apple! Most of us have been raised on very sweet apple butter so a sugarless apple butter will taste tart. You can, at this point, add sugar (or another form of sweetener) to taste. That is up to you. If you do add a sweetener, cook the apple butter a while longer to make sure the sweetener is dissolved properly.
Also, you need to decide if you want a smooth apple butter texture or not. If you like it smooth, transfer small batches of the apple butter to a blender or use an immersion blender. I prefer a bit of chunky-ness to my apple butter so I only blend half of the apple butter and mix it into the chunky apple butter.
Water bath process the apple butter in mason jars if you want to store them in the pantry for a long period of time or just scoop the apple butter in jars and store in the refrigerator if you plan on eating it up quickly.
This morning I made a big batch of biscuits and took biscuits and a small jar of apple butter to the neighbors for a Saturday morning breakfast treat. In fact, I think I have enough jarred apple butter to feed a small army this year~