Now that Autumn is here, it is time to turn those fresh picked apples into this delicious Crock Pot Apple Butter Recipe. The sweet apple spread is great to have on hand through the winter months and it can be used in a variety of ways.
Spread it on fresh baked bread, toast, pancakes, waffles, or on top of top muffins. However it can also be used as the primary filling for desserts in pies, pastries, and turnovers.
Best of all, this delicious spread couldn’t be easier to make! Simply mix sliced apples with a couple of classic spices and toss with sugar.
Then place the ingredients in your slow cooker and let the apples cook down until they are soft and mushy. Once pureed the mixture continues to cook until it becomes thick and caramelized.
The result is a thick spread that is deep brown in color. Slather it on a piece of freshly baked 100% Whole Wheat Bread and you will fall in love with the taste of the rich warm flavors of fall.
Although apple butter was traditionally made outdoors in a copper kettle, it is now commonly made in a variety of ways. I have made it on the stovetop, in a slow cooker and in an Instant Pot.
However, there is no easier way to make apple butter than in a crock pot. All you have to do is combine the ingredients and let it cook overnight while you sleep!
Then when you wake up all you have to do is puree the mixture and let it continue to cook down until the desired consistency has been reached. In addition, your house will smell amazing!
What Variety Of Apples To Make Apple Butter
Although you could use just about any apple, the best varieties for making apple butter are soft apples that cook down quickly and easily. Some popular choices include:
- Golden Delicious
You can also use a mix of different apple varieties to create a more complex flavor. For example, you could combine a sweet apple like Fuji with Braeburn apples that are sweet but have a slightly tart flavor with a hint of pear and cinnamon.
Do You Have To Peel Apples When Making Apple Butter?
When it comes to the question of if you need to peel your apples or not before making apple butter the choice is really up to you. Because the cooked apples will be pureed, it is not necessary to peel them.
In fact, many people prefer to leave the peels on, as they contain pectin, which helps to thicken the apple butter and give it a richer flavor. This is the exact reason why an apple is used to make our Strawberry Honey Jam recipe.
However, others prefer to peel the apples to eliminate the chance of a stray strand of a peel being left behind. That is the exact reason that when I make a large batch that I am going to share with family and friends, I prefer to peel the apples.
To make quick work of the process I will use my apple/peeler/corer/slicer. With this tool I can have an entire peck of apples ready for the crock pot in just a matter of minutes.
However if you choose to leave the peels on, you can use an apple corer and wedger to cut the apples. Although I would suggest using one that cuts the apples into 16 wedges instead of 8.
This will allow the apples to cook down quicker because they will be smaller. Of course if you already have an 8 slot apple corer/wedger simply cut each piece in half before adding them to the crock pot.
How To Season Crock Pot Apple Butter
Now that you have your apples picked out, cored and sliced it is time to get them in the crock pot. However, before they start cooking a couple seasonings are added to provide the iconic flavor.
Cinnamon is the primary seasoning for apple butter. Although the amount could be adjusted based on your taste preference a good rule of thumb is to add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon for every pound of apples that you use.
However, to make the flavor more complex and delicious add a little ground cloves or nutmeg to the apples as well. The flavors pair perfectly with the cinnamon.
Cinnamon has a warm, sweet flavor, while nutmeg has a nutty flavor and cloves have a slightly sweet and pungent flavor. Together, these spices create a complex and flavorful blend that is perfect for apple butter.
Finally, like many jams and jelly recipes, this old fashioned apple butter recipe uses sugar to sweeten the spread. However, if you are looking for a Sugar Free Apple Butter recipe we have one that you will love!
Crock Pot Apple Butter Recipe
*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.
Yield – 7 half pints
- 6 lbs. apples *See recipe notes section for recommended apples to make apple butter
- 3 cups sugar, add more or less per taste
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
First, peel, core, and slice your apples. We find this a breeze to do with our Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer. However, you can also use a vegetable peeler and knife if you prefer.
Although, when it comes to cutting the apples keep in mind that the thinner the apple slices are, the faster they will cook.
Next, place all ingredients into a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. *Option – Add 1/2 cup of apple cider, 100% apple juice or water in the bottom of the pot if your crock pot tends to run hot. Turn on high for 1 hour, then turn to low for an additional 10-11 hours.
Uncover and cook for 1 hour longer on low heat to allow the mixture to thicken. However keep in mind that the apple butter will continue to thicken as it cools.
Use an immersion blender, food mill or high speed blender to puree to the desired consistency. Then continue to cook if you want a thicker apple butter spread.
Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Although you can also place in an air tight container and freeze for up to 12 months.
How To Can Apple Butter
Place the apple butter in warm, sterilized half pint or pint jars. Be sure that you remove any air bubbles in the jar by running a plastic utensil down the insides of the jars.
Then wipe the rim clean, add a lid and finger tighten the band. Use a jar lifter to carefully place the filled jars in a hot water bath canner.
Bring the water to a boil and process for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the hot water for 10 minutes before removing.
Place on a thick towel and let the jars cool for 24 hours. Check to make sure the jars have sealed and then store in a cool dark place for up to 12 months.
Mary and Jim
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- 6 lbs apples (peeled, cored, sliced)
- 3 cups sugar (*more or less to taste )
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Crock Pot Instructions
- Place all ingredients into a 6 quart or larger slow cooker and toss to coat. *Option - Add 1/2 cup of apple cider, 100% apple juice or water in the bottom of the pot if your crock pot tends to run hot.
- Turn on high for 1 hour, then turn to low for an additional 10-11 hours. Uncover and cook for 1 hour longer on low to thicken.
- Use an immersion blender, food mill or high speed blender to puree the mixture.
- Place in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months or freeze in an air tight container for up to 12 months.
- Ladle warm apple butter into warm sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Use a plastic utensil down the inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim clean and place a lid on top and secure it with a finger tight ring.
- Place jars in hot water bath canner, being sure that the water is 1-2 inches above the top of the jars. Process for 5 minutes (start time when water is boiling).
- Remove the jars to a thick towel and let sit for at least 12 hours.
- Check to make sure the lids have sealed and store in a cool, dark place.
Best Apple Varieties To Make Apple Butter: Jonathan, McIntosh, Winesap, Cortland, and Gala.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms