Were you wondering why I put all of my applesauce into the crock pot? (No? That’s okay, I’ll tell you anyway.)
I made apple butter! It turns out, making apple butter in the crock pot is pretty darn easy. Once you’ve made your applesauce, just put it in your crock pot and add sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice to taste. (You can add any spice you like, really, but that’s what I used.) My crock pot holds about 7 quarts of applesauce, and I added about 2 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, and a teaspoon of allspice. At this point, essentially what you have is a really big tub of cinnamon applesauce.
Now, this next part you can do two ways. One: you can loosely cover the crock pot and leave it on ‘low’ overnight. (Stick a pair of knives or chopsticks under the edge of the lid to keep it from sealing all the moisture in. Don’t forget! You actually want the water to cook off here.) That would have worked really well for me, EXCEPT for the fact that my crock pot is oval in shape and has a couple of hot spots which resulted in a small amount of burning in parts.
The other thing you can do (this is what I did with my second batch) is to just leave the lid off, set it on low, and stir it occasionally throughout the day as you do other things. It takes hours to cook applesauce down into apple butter. It’s done when you reduce it by about half and it’s turned a rich brown color. If you’ve ever had apple butter before – it should look AND taste like apple butter. Yum.
You can put it in the fridge, freeze it, or can it. I’ve already put up fourteen pints of it (although I don’t have that many left) and it’s fortunate that my kids like it so much…because we just picked three more bushel of apples from Grandma’s farm yesterday.