10largeapplesI prefer to use a variety of apples if I can and I like them to be sweeter cooking apples. I buy my apples at a local farm, and I suggest you do the same. If you’re in a pinch, you could make apple butter with supermarket apples or even jarred applesauce, but you will lose some quality in the finished product.
Quarter and core the apples, but don’t peel them. Toss them, peels and all, into the biggest pot you have. I use an 8 or 10 quart stockpot.
Pour an inch or two of water or apple juice in the pot, and cook the apples. I have stainless steel pots, so I cook them for a half hour or so on high. Depending on your cookware, you may have to cook the apples at a lower temperature. It will take a bit longer, but is otherwise not a big deal.
Put the applesauce back into the pan. Add the sugar, Splenda, and cinnamon to taste.
Cook the applesauce on low, stirring often (though not continuously). It will take another half hour or longer until it is a rich brown and a nice, thick consistency. Be careful that it doesn’t burn; that will ruin the whole batch.
If your apple butter gets too thick, you can either put it in the blender or thin it with a wee bit of water or apple juice.
If you can it in sterile jars, the apple butter will last almost forever. In the freezer, you can keep apple butter for six months to a year. In the refrigerator, it will stay good for about a month. (If you don’t eat it sooner.)
If you prefer, you can also make apple butter in the CrockPot. (I prefer to use the stove top because it’s quicker.) When you make it in the CrockPot, it takes pretty much a whole day of cooking, sometimes longer, but otherwise the steps are the same.
Cook it on high until the apples are soft, about 3 hours.
Run it through the strainer to make applesauce.
Return the apples to the slow cooker and cook on low until the applesauce has turned a nice brown color, about 3-6 hours more.