Barter and trade is probably my favorite method acquiring goods and services. I love how simple it is, and often rewarding, trading one item or lending a hand in exchange for something you need or want!
This spiced bourbon apple butter wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for trading. My husband listed some paving bricks online for free that we didn’t need, but wanted gone as son as possible, and the woman who took them brought us a big container of apples, picked from her own trees! How sweet!
To make this apple butter, I researched a few methods and recipes, then just went for it on my own. It’s sweet, warmly spiced, and delicious. My whole house smelled like apple pie while it was cooking! The best part is that this is made 100% in a slow cooker – having a newborn and a toddler, spending any amount of time hovering over a pot on the stove was over zero-interest to me.
While cooking it solely in the slow cooker takes longer, it wasn’t by too much and needed no attention. Many other recipes suggest a 30-40 minute stove-top cook time first, then using the slow cooker for a few hours (varying depending on your setting), and you could definitely adapt my recipe to do that if you wanted. But I loved that this was a dump-cooking type recipe, especially since preparing the apples takes long enough!
Yield: 3 pints
4-5lbs of apples – peeled, cored and sliced
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. allspice
1 cup bourbon whiskey
3 cups water
3 cups granulated white sugar
1. Prepare your apples. Keep in mind when slicing that the smaller/thinner your slices, the faster they will cook down. You can definitely leave them as large chunks, but it will take longer to cook. Since it only took a few extra seconds per apple, I cut mine into thin slices.
2. Dump apples and all other ingredients in to your slow cooker. For the cloves, I used a mesh tea bag to steep them, so I didn’t have to worry about finding and straining them out later.
3. Cook on high for about 4 hours, then turn to low and leave until the apple mixture has browned, apples are falling apart, and most of the liquid has evaporated. This took awhile, and I actually let them simmer overnight.
4. Remove cinnamon sticks and mesh bag with cloves, pour mixture into a blender and mix well until smooth.
5. Ladle into prepared pint jars, and process in a water bath for 10-minutes. Allow to cool fully before removing rings.
I am so in love with this apple butter! The flavor is so delicious, both warm and cold! I love it on toast, bagels, English muffins or corn muffins; add it to oatmeal or farina instead of your usual sweetness, you won’t be disappointed! My two year old literally licks it off her toast!