Apples are on the top of the list for contamination of pesticides. Therefore, organic is extremely important. The best thing to do to find organic apples at a cost that is feasible, is to find someone that has their own apple trees. Now I don't mean an organic orchard. I'm talking about a person, probably living out in the country, that just happens to have a couple, 3, 4, trees. In my experience, those people are more than happy to see their apples go to good use and will GIVE them away if you'll just come pick them! Some times they'll make a trade and give you the apples to use if you'll share some of your creation with them.
So, that's the first step. Find a good source for organic apples.
Next, send monkey children to climb trees and pick apples!
You'll need about 8 pounds of apples. There were actually around 13 pounds in this basket.
Peel, core, and chop to fill up your crock pot.
Sprinkle 1 cup of white sugar on top, put the lid on and cook on low for about 6 hours.
You CAN go ahead and add the other ingredients too if you want, but I like to wait and add them a little before the end.
After your apples have cooked til soft, use a potato masher and mash them up.
Then add the rest of the ingredients.
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
Mix it all up and cook for another 4 or so hours.
Pour your end result into pre-sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath of boiling water for 10 minutes/pints, 15 minutes/quarts.
Makes approximately 4 pints.
This stuff is WAY better than anything you can get in the store! It reminds me of the apple butter I used to eat as a kid that was made in big outdoor vats over an open fire. So good on some toast! I was thinking specifically of giving these as gifts so I didn't want to tinker too much with the recipe. BUT, I want to try making some with honey and molasses in place of the sugar in the near future.