6 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
Juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place the cubed apples in a slow cooker and toss with the lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients.
Stir the sugar mixture into the slow cooker until the apples are evenly coated. Add in the scraped vanilla bean pod.
Stirring intermittently (about every couple hours or so), cook the apple for about 5 hours on high, or for about 10 hours on low, until the apples are soft and break easily with the back of a wooden spoon.
Carefully fish out the vanilla bean pod. Purée the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, transfer the mixture to a regular blender (be careful — the apples with be very hot!) and blend until smooth.
Return the puréed apples to the slow cooker and cook on low for about 2 more hours, until thick and the flavors are concentrated.
Carefully transfer into clean glass containers. Let cool before storing in the refrigerator. The apple butter will keep for about a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, or longer if properly canned.