Making apple butter every year has become more than a hobby for me–it’s like a compulsion! I simply don’t feel right if no apple butter is made.
Every fall I preserve several jars of butter, giving some away as gifts and keeping some to eat throughout the year. Since I actually still have a jar of last year’s apple butter in my fridge (I opened it a couple weeks ago), I thought it would be more fun to do a variation on my typical recipe. For a second I thought about pumpkin apple butter, but I didn’t think that would give much contrasting flavor or texture. I wanted something to balance out the sweetness of the apples and warmth of the spices. Then I remembered how much I love the cranberry apple butter that the famous Flying Biscuit Café serves, and I knew I was onto something good!
I absolutely adore cranberries. Between the beautiful color and tangy bite, there are few things in this world that I wouldn’t add cranberry to.
As much as I thought I loved apple butter, when cooked with cranberries it is EVEN BETTER. It was meant to be.
- 14 c. peeled,diced apples
- 1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
- ½ c. apple cider
- ¾ c. brown sugar
- ¾ c. raw sugar
- ⅓ c. maple syrup
- 1 T. cinnamon
- 2 t. ginger
- 1 t. allspice
- 1 t. cardamom
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl to coat the apples and cranberries.
- Place the mixture into a crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours, stirring once an hour.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally along the way. After the first couple hours, you can use a potato masher to start breaking up the apples. After about 4 hours, you can use a whisk to start to smooth the apples out.
- After about 8 total hours of cooking, remove the top and let the butter cook uncovered so that any liquid will evaporate. When the butter is smooth, thick, and dark in color with no extra liquid sitting on top, it’s done cooking.
- Remove the butter to clean jars and allow to cool. You can freeze or can the butter, or just refrigerate it once its cooled. Makes about 12 4 oz. jars.
Since yesterday was National Oatmeal Day, I figured it was appropriate to show you my favorite way to eat apple butter!
I love to put a HUGE spoonful on top of old fashioned oats and then top it with a tiny drizzle of real maple syrup. Nuts are a bonus.
My jars are all sealed and ready to be enjoyed all year long! I already can’t wait to do this all again next year!