You can make a delicious and sweet fruit spread, known as apple butter, in the comfort of your kitchen. You can have a fruity topping for bread or muffins by cooking down apples with spices and sugar until thick.
Apple butter may boast a smooth, creamy texture, but it actually contains no butter at all. Here's how to make this easy, spreadable treat.
You Will Need
* 4 lbs. mixed variety apples
* 1 c. apple cider
* 1 c. apple cider or water
* 2 c. sugar
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* ½ tsp. cloves
* ½ tsp. allspice
* A pinch of salt
* Lemon (optional)
* Slow cooker (optional)
* Potato masher (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the apples
Wash, peel, and core the apples, and then cut them into a small dice.
Step 2: Cook apples until soft
Put the apples and cider or water into a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and place on low heat until the apples become soft, about 30 minutes.
Step 3: Add the sugar and spices
Add the sugar, spices, and salt. If you like, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to enhance the flavor of the apples.
Step 4: Stir mixture and cook more
Return the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and stir frequently to avoid burning, and taste the apple butter while it cooks. Too tart? Add a little more sugar. Continue cooking the apples until the mixture is very thick, one to two hours.
You can also combine the ingredients in a slow cooker and set it on low heat with the lid ajar for eight to 10 hours until the mixture thickens.
Step 5: Test the thickness
To test for doneness, scoop up a spoonful. If the butter keeps its rounded shape, rather than flattening out, it's ready.
If you like your apple butter super smooth, mash in any remaining apple bits with a potato masher.
Step 6: Serve or store
If you plan to eat the apple butter immediately, let it cool before serving. Store the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freez