Fruit butters are something that I never paid much attention to growing up; as a matter of fact, my husband was the one that really brought my attention to them. He grew up with his mom making apple butter, and it was (and still is!) a favorite of his, so I figured I should make some up for him! I've been making this for a few years now, and there is always a jar of it in the fridge!
12-15 medium-sized apples
I usually peel mine three at a time, and cut them into chunks, toss them into the acidulated water, and stir them all together with the spices.
I just squeeze 1 lemon into the pot, catching the seeds between my fingers. I'm too lazy to break out a juicer! You can see I didn't think about adding the spices until I had my first three apples in the pot.
I used freshly grated nutmeg, because I have some whole nutmeg on hand, but if you have pre-grated nutmeg, that's totally fine!
If you come across an apple that has a blemish, just cut around it. No big deal. I wouldn't worry about cutting around bruises, but if there is a worm hole, or some other blemish, just cut it out and keep going!
After each addition of the apples, I give them a good stir, so that each apple piece gets some of the spices and the water.
I packed my pot totally full of apple chunks, although you're really not supposed to fill them more than 3/4 full, I think, to ensure even cooking. I just figured I'd give mine a good stir every hour or so. I know that the rule of thumb is that every time you open your slow cooker, you add an additional 15 minutes of cooking time to your dish, but I was fine with that.
Once your apples are all cut up, and coated with the water and spices, put your lid on, and set your cooker to low, for 8 hours. This picture is during the first stir, 2 hours in. Not much change.
Six hours in, you can see that the apples are starting to fall apart, so I went ahead and used my immersion blender to blend all of these apples up into a smooth consistency, and let it cook for another 2 hours. If you don't have an immersion blender (also called a stick blender), just use either a regular blender, or a food processor, or even a potato masher! Easy peasy!
This really cooks up beautifully! Its all thick and bubbly!