Aunt Grace’s Apple Butter recipe.
I used to have a couple apple trees and they produced kinda’ small apples, but tart and good for cooking.
I pick enough apples to fill a 5 gallon bucket. This will make 2 batches of apple butter and you will need 2 crock pots if you use the entire 5 gallons of apples.
The following recipe is for only ONE batch (1 crockpot full) of apple butter:
2.5 gallons apples (1/2 the 5 gallon bucket)
3 cups sugar (I decreased this to 2 1/2 cups last batch and liked it better)
1 tsp cinnamon (I double this usually, though)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla (I used my homemade vanilla in the last batch…YUMMY!…and I tripled the amount
Peel, core and slice apples and put the slices into crockpot till full. (I use a SmartPot Crockpot)
Pour the sugar over the apples, then add the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
No need to stir…simply cook overnight (I cook for 9-10 hours in my crockpot) and then get the jars ready to can them in the morning. Either stir the apples (they will be super tender) or mix them with a blender, depending on your preference of smoothness. Leave the lid on the apple butter until you have added it to the canning jars so that it will be hot. (I leave crock pot on warm setting until I spoon it out of the crockpot)
Yields approx 4 pints (a tadbit more if you cooked 9 hours, a tadbit less if you cook over 10 hours…also will be sweeter the longer you cook it, so if you prefer it more tart, go w/9 hours)
I use half pint jars to can the apple butter because I have a small household, but for a larger household, you may want to use pint jars.
Canning instructions for apple butter: wash and rinse 8 half-pint jars and also boil water, then turn heat off and add 8 flaps and lids to the scalding hot water. Place jars on a dishtowel very close together and fill each jar w/the apple butter, then add a flap and tighten the lid. It will be HOT, so use an oven mit, or something to protect hand. Place another dishtowel over the jars and just leave it alone till you hear that WONDERFUL pop that shows it has sealed.
I also recommend this neat little kit that I found at Walmart in the canning section…I threw the box away, but I recall it was blue. It includes a little gadget w/a magnet on the end that picks up the flaps and lids out of the hot water to make it easier to can…plus the ladle and jar funnel (wide, like the jar mouth) are perfect size for these little jars…and a ruler that measures up to an inch at the jar lip so you can fill to a precise measurement based on recipe instructions.
NOW PICTURES: Below is a half-full jar of apple butter along w/the neat canning kit I mentioned above: (I LOVE gadgets)
This is another pic of the magnetic gadget actually picking up a flap:
Here is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets:
AND FINALLY, this is a close up of one of my apple trees I used to have: