Apple butter is one of our all-time fall favorites, the co-mingling of the flavors we crave as temperatures start to drop: apple tartness, brown sugar sweetness and cinnamon spiciness and ginger zestiness. While the idea of a pot of apple butter simmering on the stovetop all day is a nice one, we suggest employing your slow cooker to do the job instead. Not only will it keep the mess to a minimum, but the slow, consistent temperature of the pot is one of the best ways to coax out every last ounce of flavors from your local Pennsylvania apples. When it comes to apples, use a mix of sweet (Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji) and tart (Granny Smith, McIntosh, Pink Lady), for a layered, complex flavor. Use your apple butter as a topping for biscuits, toast and pancakes; add to a grilled cheese; or whisk with a bit of apple cider vinegar for a delicious condiment for pork chops or sausages.
Slow-Cooker PA Apple Butter
- 6 pounds assorted sweet and tart PA apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup PA apple cider
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine apples and cider in large slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon, spices and salt. Sprinkle spice mixture over apples and toss to combine. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours, until apples are very tender.
- Use immersion blender to puree apples in slow cooker (alternatively, puree in batches in blender and return to slow cooker). Continue to cook on high without lid, letting mixture reduce for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Let cool completely and store in airtight container in refrigerator. Serve over biscuits, toast, chicken, pork and more.