Easy Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Pear Apple Butter


3 1/2 pounds apples
3 1/2 pounds pears
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups brown sugar (light or dark) reserve 1/2 cup for adjustments in sweeteness
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Marzetti caramel dip (sweet and salty is best, but any variety will work)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg


Step 1:

Peel, core, and chop apple and pears. Place all ingredients (reserving 1/2 cup sugar for later in recipe) into a large slow cooker [6-8 quarts]. Turn the slow cooker on low and cover. Cook for twelve hours.

Step 2: 
Using an immersion blender or potato masher, puree the fruit mixture until smooth.Prop the lid partially ajar to allow steam to escape. Increase the slow cooker temperature to high. After 2 hours use a food mill and process the apple sauce until smooth. Return to slow cooker and cook for up to ten additional hours or until desired thickness is achieved. The longer you cook it, the thicker it will become.

Around eight hours in the second cycle, stir and check the taste and consistency.Stir in caramel dip. At this point, you can adjust the salt, sugar, and add any spices if you'd like then. Continue cooking an additional 4 hours or until the apple butter reaches the consistency you like.

Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or ladle the butter into hot, sanitized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from bath, dry off jars and allow to cool.

Recipe adapted from: www.nomnivorous.com