5 lbs (about 12-15) of apples (a mix of sweet and tart varieties)
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
Prepare the Apples: Wash, peel, and core the apples. Cut them into chunks or slices. It's okay if they are not perfectly uniform in size.
Cook the Apples: Place the apple pieces in a large slow cooker or a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the maple syrup, bourbon, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Stir everything together.
Cook Slow and Low: If using a slow cooker, set it to the low setting and cover. Cook for about 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally. If using a pot, simmer the mixture over low heat, stirring often, for about 4-6 hours until the apples are soft and the mixture thickens.
Blend or Mash: Once the apples are soft and the mixture has thickened, you have two options: 1) Use an immersion blender to blend the apple mixture until it's smooth. 2) If you prefer a chunkier texture, use a potato masher to mash the apples to your desired consistency.
Finish with Lemon Juice: Stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice. This adds a bright, tangy note to balance the sweetness.
Cool and Store: Allow the apple butter to cool to room temperature. Then, transfer it to clean, sterilized jars or airtight containers. Store in the refrigerator for immediate use or freeze for longer storage.
Enjoy: This spiced maple bourbon apple butter is perfect on toast, pancakes, waffles, or as a condiment for roasted meats. It also makes a thoughtful homemade gift for friends and family.
This unique recipe adds a depth of flavor with the bourbon and maple syrup while maintaining the classic comfort of apple butter. Enjoy the rich, sweet, and slightly boozy goodness!