Fall is finally here!! The weather is finally cooling off, the leaves are changing colors and falling, I can wear flannel button downs and sweaters all the time. Oh Fall, how I love thee. Not only do I love the weather, I love all the fun things that come with fall. Raking leaves and jumping in them, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, going to the pumpkin patch, Halloween, curling up by the fire, Thanksgiving, and, most importantly, apples. That being said, I’m ready to jump right into Fall!
Last Sunday, we decided to pack up early in the morning and head for the mountains for some good old family apple picking. We’d never been before and thought it would be a fun experience, which it totally was. The mountains were just beautiful!
You could say we got a weeeee bit carried away though, walking away with 90 pounds of apples, or roughly $200 worth of apples. Oops… But really, how could we resist? A whole entire orchard full of apples just calling our names, begging us to pick them!
We ended up with one bag of each type of apple that was ripe – Fuji, Stayman, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Winesap, and Granny Smith. We came home and put all the bags on the counter and all had a simultaneous “oh crap” moment because we just didn’t know what to do with all those apples. That first night we all had an apple for dessert after dinner, but then my mind started to wander and I came up with all sorts of apple-y goodness I wanted to make – applesauce, apple pie, apple smoothies, apple crumble, the list goes on and on. The next day I sat through my classes and rushed home just itching to get in the kitchen and make something with those apples!
First up was applesauce; simple enough, right? But as I not so patiently waited for the apples to cook I thought, “hey! what about apple butter?!?! I like apple butter!” So after my applesauce adventure I chopped up some more apples and threw them in a pot with some spices and figured I would see what happened. I’ll tell you what happened: the best apple butter I’ve ever had the privilege of devouring. We ended up plowing through the first jar of apple butter in just a few days, so I whipped up a second batch and decided to call it blog-worthy.
This apple butter is thick, creamy, full of fall flavors (try saying that 5 times fast!), and just plain delicious! Not to mention your house will smell delightfully like fall (yes fall has its own smell) while you’re apple butter is cooking. Enjoy this apple butter hot or cold on toast, muffins, bagels, waffles, pancakes, even apples! Or maybe just by the spoonful… How about a nice warm cup of tea (or coffee if that’s how you roll) and toast with warm apple butter (sitting by a nice cozy fire under a blanket??) – can you tell I’m ready for cooler weather? You really just need to make this. Like now.
Homemade Apple Butter
Makes about 2 cups
- 5-6 Large Apples (My apples were pretty ginormous- I used Fuji the first time and Stayman the second time. Stayman resulted in a sweeter apple butter. Feel free to use a combination of different apples as well)
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
- 1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
Wash, peel, core, and slice the apples and place them in a large pot with the rest of the ingredients. Bring the water to a simmer, lower the heat, and place the lid on the pot. Simmer the mixture until the apples are super soft and start to fall apart, stirring occasionally to prevent the apples from burning on the bottom of the pot.
Once the apples are nice and soft, remove the apples from the heat and use an immersion blender (or a regular blender, but an immersion blender = less mess and cleanup time) and blend the apples until smooth. Be careful of hot applesauce splatter! If you’re just looking for some spiced up applesauce you can just blend it a little bit and stop here, but you’ll be missing out on some dang good apple butter.
Now that your apples are all blended and you are left with a soupy looking mixture, return the apples to low heat (I had my heat on 3 and reduced it to 2 once it started to thicken up) and cover with about 1 inch of space for the steam to escape. It’s going to pop a bit, so I placed some paper towels a safe distance from the pot to catch some of the splatter. Stir the apples about every 10 minutes or so to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom and burns.
This process takes about an hour to two hours depending on how high you have the heat and how impatient you are. The first time I made it, it only took an hour because I turned the heat up really high and stirred the crap out of it. I’m a pretty impatient person sometimes.
You’ll know your apple butter is done when it is dark colored and thick. If you stir it and push it all to one side of the pot it shouldn’t run back over to the other side. Not very quickly at least.
Transfer the apple butter to a jar and let it cool before popping it in the fridge. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge, but I doubt it’ll even be in there that long!