Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

4 1/2 pounds apples preferably tart type
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup raw honey
1 1/3 cup apple juice
1 vanilla bean
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
pinch of ground cloves

Slice apples thin leaving skins on and put into the slow cooker. Add the brown sugar, honey, apple juice and vanilla bean, put lid on slightly askew to vent the steam. Cook 10-12 hours. You may stir once to get the vanilla bean soaking into the apple liquid.

After 10 to 12 hours stir and pull out the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out of the bean then discard the pod. The vanilla seeds go back into the apples along with the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves stir well. If you have an immersion blender then blend the apples in the slow cooker. If not then us can put in a conventional blender but be careful it's hot and you don't want to have the lid fly off, follow manufacturer's directions. Put the apple butter back into slow cooker is you used the conventional blender. Cook for another 10-12 hours with lid askew.

When the apple butter is done you will be surprised at how little there is in the cooker now. To can the apple butter put into clean sterilized half pint jars and put lid on and can in water bath for 10 minutes. If you are new to canning check the Ball website out for the basics.

Makes: 5 half pints