Happy Apple Week: Day Three -- Crock-Pot Apple Butter

Apple butter has always held a special place in my heart. I love putting this cool, smooth and sweet spread on toast, bagels, English muffins or even just eating it by the spoonful. It's technically not a true butter because it has no cream, fat or dairy -- it's just apples, sugar and spices. But that's what makes it so wonderful.

Normally, I buy my apple butter from the Klein Bros. at a local farmer's market or even at the grocery store, but this time I decided to make it at home -- it's apple week! It's super easy to make, and the beauty is you only have to do the prep work because your Crock-Pot or slow cooker will do the rest.

After searching the Web for a good, basic recipe for crockpot apple butter, I found one that stays true to the deliciously sweet flavor of apples by adding the right amount of sugar and spice.

I decided to use a dozen Gala apples because the mild flavor is perfect for baking and they're my favorite apple. The second I started cooking the apples in the Crock-Pot, my kitchen was filled with the familiar smell of the apple butter I've grown up loving.

After peeling, coring and chopping the apples into cubes, I simply added the apples to the Crock-Pot, followed by the rest of the ingredients: 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice. Adding allspice made me think it was fall outside and I was getting ready to bake the annual apple pie for Thanksgiving.

Turn the Crock-Pot on low for ten hours and let it do the work. I let the Crock-Pot cook overnight because I wanted to wake up to the lovely aroma of apples, cinnamon, sugar and allspice...and I did.

After ten hours on low, the apples softened enough to be smashed with a potato masher. The blogger who wrote the original recipe said she needed to cook the apples on high for a few more hours, but I only cooked it for 45 minutes on high and it thickened up quickly.

Once it was thick and fully cooked, I placed the apples in the food processor and pulsed until the mixture was thick and smooth. As soon as it became smooth throughout, it looked just as it was supposed to.

I then poured my apple butter into a jar, labeled it and stuck it in the fridge. I can't wait to use this on my toast for a perfect breakfast.

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