Fall makes me think of apple picking! Apple pie, apple dumplings, Apple Butter! All of these things bring back fond memories and every one of them is tied to my mom.
This sugar-free apple butter is spiced with all the best apple pie flavors of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger & nutmeg and tossed with good-for-you apple cider vinegar, sweetened by mother nature. It’s a recipe that brings all those memories back.
The first apple pie I ever learned to make was for Thanksgiving from the classic Joy of Cooking cookbook. My mom gave me the book and helped me with the instructions. An apple pie and two pumpkin pies with whipped cream (all homemade) became the turkey day tradition. Before too long, I became the pie crust expert! My mom said I had the magic touch, that I made it better than her and she always had me do it.
When I lived out in California, come autumn, it was time to go apple picking! My husband, Ari, and I would get in the car and head out to Yucaipa to meet my mom and step-dad, Todd, who would drive out from Lake Arrowhead, a mountain village 2 hours east of LA down the 210 and 15 freeways. Fruit picking is one of my all-time favorites since I was a kid.
The first thing we’d do when we arrived is to stop at the Apple Annie’s for warm apple dumplings and melty vanilla ice cream. Here’s a picture of my mom and me sitting on the porch outside of Annie’s with one of those dumplings.
Apple Farm, San Luis Obispo, California. The Apple Farm was one of those places you visit as a kid that leaves an impression. It was an inn and restaurant but we only ever stopped their to eat on the way from visiting my relatives up north and only on the very, very rare occasion. The restaurant had an attached gift shop with two levels of tea sets and apple toys and trinkets, aprons and gourmet delicacies. What I remember most is the apple butter.
It was the first time I’d ever tried apple butter and the only apple butter I’d ever eat during my childhood. That apple butter was that delicious, rare and elusive treat that you only ever had the pleasure of enjoying upon a particular circumstance. Apple Farm was that circumstance. Never did we ever find it at “normal” grocery stores in my youth. Back then, I could never have imagined then how EASY it was to make.
Create Traditions & Memories
I love, love, love fruit picking for all those reasons and more and very highly recommend it become a tradition in any family, whether it’s apples, peaches, cherries, berries or anything else that those wonderful farmers will allow you to pick, go for it! To help you out in building your produce pickin’ experience, you can visit this site to help you to find some locations in your area. Many, many areas in the USA have some places you can go to create some memories of your own.
Though my mom passed away some years ago, I still miss her like mad. All my apple memories have her in them. She wore apple red often, painted nails the same and even her kitchen curtains had apples on them.
This simple recipe, invoke memories of your own, or create new ones. This apple butter is delicious and versatile. Spread it on buttered toast or a bagel, fold it into pancake batter or blend it into a smoothie! Better yet, try an apple spice latte! Simply follow the instructions for our good-for-you pumpkin butter pumpkin spice latte, simply replace the maple pumpkin butter with this apple butter. Apple-y joy!
Want more healthy apple ideas? Check out our 30 Health Apple Recipes post for more! To make a fast job of all your season’s apple preps, pick up an apple slicer. Makes for quick work in the kitchen for all your pies, butters and apple snacks needs.
- 2 ½ pounds apples (Pink Lady, Red Delicious or similar), peeled
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- With your Dynamic Chef Apple Slicer, core and slice peeled apples into 8 slices.
- Place apples and apple cider vinegar into your crock pot and cook on HIGH, covered, for 4 hours. You may need to stir occasionally to avoid sticking, but I didn't find it necessary.
- After the 4 hours, when apples have cooked and broken down, place apples into a blender and blend until very smooth.
- Return blended apples to the crock pot and add all spices. Mix spices into blended apples until fully incorporated.
- Turn crock pot on HIGH and cook, uncovered, for approximately 60 minutes more. This allows the butter to thicken up as the uncovered pot allows excess water to evaporate.
- Once done, place apple butter into an air-tight container. Store in the fridge for a week or freeze for up to 1 month.
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