I’m always looking for recipes that have no sugar added or no sugar. My husband is a diabetic and has a sweet tooth. A lot of the recipes I make can be adapted and splenda can be used in place of sugar. But sometimes it doesn’t work well. The chewy chocolate chip cookies do not work well with splenda. The whole texture is changed and has an off flavor. When I saw an apple butter recipe come through my Google Reader, I knew it was something I had to try. It didn’t call for any sugar and relied on the sweetness in the apples and unsweetened apple juice. Perfect!
Last week we got a bunch of fresh Pennsylvania apples and I set off to see if this recipe works. I started the process at 8:00pm in the evening. Seeing that it would take 15 hours of cooking time in the crock pot, I knew starting it at night was the wise decision. The apples were done around 11:00am and the house smelled amazing. I was a little unsure if the apples would get that dark color you find in apple butter, but they did. They were a beautiful dark brown and cooked to perfection. One of the things I noticed is that there was a lot of liquid. I decided to take the apples out with a slotted spoon then put them through a blender. If I hadn’t the apple butter would have had more liquid and not be as thick as it should. The apple butter tasted really good. The only thing was that it had a tiny bit of tang to it. Next time I make this I am going to cut down on the apple cider vinegar. I don’t think there is a need for 1/4 cup of vinegar. I’ve adjusted the recipe to reflect those changes.
Challenge For You:
There was another photo I was going to use, but as I was showing my father-in-law the photo he saw something in the apple butter. As soon as he pointed out what he saw, I could no longer use it as my main photo because it ruined it for me. I decided to still put it on here to see if you could see what he did. We had a very good laugh over this, especially since it’s something I had not planned.
- 10 whole Medium Sized Apples (I used a mix of Winesap and Empire)
- 2 cups Unsweetened Apple Juice
- ¼ cups Water
- 2 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoons Ground Cloves
- ¼ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
- 1 pinch Sea Salt (I used Kosher)
1. Place cored and sliced apples (not peeled) into a large crock-pot / slow cooker.
2. Pour juice on top of sliced apples. Add water, apple cider vinegar, extract and spices. Stir all ingredients together, cover pot and let it cook for 15 hours on low.
3. The liquid will reduce and the apples will be very soft, darker in color. After 15 hours, turn the crock pot off and let the apples cool down a bit (about 30 minutes), then with slotted spoon, transfer the mixture into a blender and blend until completely smooth.
4. Let the apple butter cool and then transfer into storage containers. It should store well in the fridge for about 3 weeks. You could even freeze it.
Source: slightly adapted from Tasty Kitchen