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Secret ingredient crockpot apple butter

My Jonathan apples

My Jonathan apples

What I love about this apple butter is its purity, just apples, juice, sugar if you like, and warming spices. But there is a secret ingredient…

Crockpot apple butter

Wow, this recipe has been making the rounds lately.  I am going to try this again.

My oldest & best friend, Carol Spry Vanover (you probably feel like you know her, I’ve mentioned her that much!) first told me about this. Carol received a bunch of apples from a friend and  made apple butter. Except for her “secret” ingredient, I couldn’t believe Carol’s is the same recipe I used years ago when we had an apple orchard. Wonderful for sharing with family and friends. One other thought: I don’t add as much sugar as it calls for.

14 nice sized apples

2 cups apple juice or pure apple cider

1 cup sugar or however much you want, for each pint of sieved cooked fruit (see below)

1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice and cloves for each pint of sieved cooked fruit (see below)

1/2 cup “secret” ingredient: sweet white wine – Carol used Moscato (optional)


Core and quarter apple (do not peel). Combine with juice in sprayed crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 2 – 4 hours. When fruit is tender, you’ve cooked it long enough. Put through food mill to remove peel.

Measure cooked fruit and return to crock pot. For each pint of fruit, add up to 1 cup of sugar or other sweetener, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 teaspoon cloves. Stir well. Cover and cook again on high for 6 – 8 hours, stirring about every 2 hours.

Remove cover after 3 hours or more to allow to cook down to a very thick puree. Add wine during last hour of cooking. Spoon into hot sterilized jars and process according to boiling water bath canning method or cool completely and store in freezer up to 1 year or frig up to a month. Makes close to 6 cups.

Tip from Rita’s kitchen

Use a combination of apples if you can, some sweet, some tart. The only one I’d steer clear of is red delicious since the flavor doesn’t carry through. DSCN2135

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