A month ago I wrote about the apple butter that ancestors made. I asked my mother if she remembered having apple butter as a child and she does but she didn't remember much about the process. When I asked why we never had apple butter when I was growing up she said that she had bought some at the store after she had moved to Syracuse and that it was so bland she never bothered buying it again.
Jasia had remarked in her comment that she'd also found the store bought to be bland so I decided to try making my own. I wasn't about to buy a huge copper kettle and build a fire in the back yard so I opted instead to try making it in the crock pot. If you do a search for "crock pot apple butter" you will find many differing instructions so after reading several I got to work.
I bought McIntosh apples and had about 4 lbs. I decided to peel the apples based on the majority of the recipes I found.
Over the apples I added:
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
dash of salt
1/2 cup water
After an hour the apples had started to reduce.
After four hours the pot still looked like the picture above, so I decided to help things along and got out my potato masher.
I continued to mash and stir every hour and eleven hours after I started it had greatly reduced but was still very runny.
Wanting to go to bed, but not feeling I could just let it go overnight, I took the lid off and that helped a bit. I let it go another couple of hours so the whole process took about 13 hours. It probably is not as thick as it could be and it still looks a bit lumpy. You don't really notice the lumps and it tastes wonderful! I took Thomas' suggestion and spread it on raisin bread toast as an extra treat.
All in all I'm happy with the way it turned out. If I ever make it again I think I will start it in the late evening and let it cook overnight so I can watch it and let it reduce more the next day. I also may chop the apples before I put them in the crock.