crockpotpepperjellyApple butter is good any time, any day, any season.  There’s just something about spreading that golden apple butter on bread, pancakes, biscuits,  or anything else, or dipping fruit into it, that just defies description.

Many people make apple butter these days by starting with pre-made applesauce, and these batches are good.  However, I like to start with fresh apples, and the tarter the better.  Here’s how I make apple butter:

Ingredients:

4 pounds tart apples (I use Granny Smith apples)

2 cups apple cider

2 1/2 cups sugar (I use Splenda)

1 cup Texas Apple Jalapeno or Apple Habanero (depending on hos zesty you like it!)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

tiny pinch of allspice

What to do:

Stem, core, and quarter the apples.  Do not peel them.  (The peeling is the best part!)

Put the apples and cider in a large slow cooker.  Cover, and cook on low for ten hours.

Stir in the sugar, pepper jelly, and spices.  Continue cooking for another hour.

remove from head and cool thoroughly.  If you want a smooth apple butter, put it in your blender to mix in the skins.  However, my family loves the lumpy skins.  You do this however your family prefers.

Serve immediately or refrigerate and keep for a week.  I always keep out enough for several meals and freeze the rest; it freezes really well.

You can also pour it into hot sterilized jars and seal.

This apple butter is fantastic.  Your family will never want any other kind.  Here in southern Indiana, we like apple butter on just about everything.  My personal favorite, though, is apple butter on hot homemade biscuits.  The pepper jelly absolutely MAKES this apple butter.  I’ve used both jalapeno and habanero with it, and my family loves both.

Zesty apple butter is also good on ribs.  Just throw the ribs into the crockpot with some of this apple butter and let them cook for about 8 hours on low.