I am planning on making some Apple Butter Pie for Thanksgiving (that recipe coming - it's really fabulous, if I do say so myself). Last year, my sister gave me some apple butter that she had made. This year, I wasn't so lucky. So, I made my own.
In the crockpot, it's easy. Takes a while, but it's worth the wait.
Crockpot Spiced Apple Butter
~2 lbs apples, cored and chopped (I used Empire apples, with one really huge Granny Smith thrown in, and left the skins on)
2 tsp vanilla
1 c sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
In a slow cooker (at least 3 1/2 quart in size), combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Mash apples with a potato masher to mix well and break the apples up some, then set to low and cook 6-8 hours. (I let it go overnight)
After this time is done, run through a food mill or puree carefully with an immersion blender. Return to slow cooker and cook for an additional 6-8 hours, propping the top open if necessary for some of the time to allow evaporation and thickening. The final apple butter should be thick and spreadable.
Scoop into a large jar (or jars) and store in the refrigerator. Can be frozen in freezer containers as well, or processed and canned for longer storage.