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Holiday Recipe Exchange | Slow Cooker Apple Butter

by Jamie on October 17, 2011

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I am a lover of all things fall – from the leaves and pumpkins to cozy sweaters and Ugg boots, I adore it all – especially apple season.

A neighboring city hosts an Apple Butter Festival every October. It’s full of holiday crafts, historical reenactments, and of course amazing food. Although I love meandering through the aisles of vendors, I really go for two very important reasons: caramel slathered apples and homemade apple butter.

Unfortunately, I’ve missed this festival two years in a row – last year because I was in San Francisco and this year because I simply forgot about it. I sulked for a hot minute, but decided that I’d get my yearly apple butter fix by making my own.

At first I was little bit intimidated by the whole homemade fruit butter thing, but really it could not have been easier thanks to my apple peeler and slow cooker. The peeler allowed me to peel, core, and slice 6 ½ pounds of apples in a matter of minutes. I tossed everything into the slow cooker, set the timer for 10 hours and went about my day.

The result was a delicious, velvety smooth apple butter that definitely rivals any of the jars that I’ve purchased at the Apple Butter Festival and the best part is – I made it myself!

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Slow Cooker Apple Butter

October 17th, 2011

Yield: 4 pints

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time:

Ingredients:

6 1/2 pounds apples - peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples and mix well.
2. Cook in slow cooker on low for about 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
3. Uncover, stir in vanilla and continue cooking uncovered on low for about 2 hours.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until smooth.
5. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze.
6. Serve on breads, muffins, pork chops or just eat it with a spoon.

Notes:

- I used a combination of Granny Smith, Fuji and Honey Crisp apples for this recipe.
- The sweetness of your apples will depend on how much sugar you will need to add. Adjust according to your apples and preferences.
- I have not canned this recipe.
- The jars used in the photos are from Weck (900 - 1/5 L Mold Jars)
- The labels in the photos were made using my Silhouette machine.

My Baking Addiction adapted from allrecipes


{ 147 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat Wolfe December 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Jamie, I would like to try your recipe of Slow Cooker Apple Butter. I would like to know what an immersion blender is? Could you just use a portable mixer?

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MBA December 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Pat-
An immersion blender is a hand held device that is used for pureeing or emulsifying. A portable mixer will simply mix and not actually blend the food. Good luck and have a great day!
-Jamie

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Pat Wolfe December 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I used to work for a couple up in N.C. that made their own apple butter outside in a large black kettle over a fire. They would stir and stir nice & slow for hours with a big wooden stirrer. It was really delicious!

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Barbara December 8, 2012 at 11:38 am

I made this for Christmas gifts, and it’s WONDERFUL! My apple peeler/slicer/corer made short work of the prep work, and I tried canning it in wide mouth 8 oz. jars (followed instructions for canning jam). All the jars sealed, and I’ll use this recipe again…a lot. Thanks so much!!

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Raychel December 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

This apple butter is in my crock pot right now. My house smells SO amazing! I’m making several batches so I can give them out as Christmas gifts. The divine smell is definitely making up for all the weird looks I got when I was buying 20 pounds of apples at the grocery store!

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Sasha December 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

I am planning on making this this weekend – did you weigh the apples to be 6.5 pounds before or after you peeled and cored them? Thank you!! I’m excited to make this!!

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MBA December 26, 2012 at 9:32 am

Sasha-
I typically weigh the apples before peeling and coring them. Good luck and have a great day!
-Jamie

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Cindy April 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I am definitely trying this! Iove apple butter. Brings back childhood memories of breakfasts with buttered toast slathered with apple butter. Yum.

I’d like to use apple pie spice instead of the separate spices. How much do you think I should start with?

Thanks!

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Jamie May 18, 2013 at 9:10 am

Cindy-
I think I would start with 1 tablespoon and adjust from there. I hope this helps.
Thanks-
Jamie

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Heather May 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

I worked apple season last fall and had apple butter for the first time. I was in charge of the apple butter pot we use 100 apples and 6 gallons of cider in ours it took all weekend to make. It was lots of fun! But sadly I’m on my last jar so looking forward to trying thisrecipe thanks for sharing.

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Brandi August 12, 2013 at 12:37 am

Can this be canned using hot water bath canning and kept in the pantry? If so do you have a time recommendation for how long to boil in the jars? I’m so excited to try this recipe! Thank you for sharing!

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Jamie September 13, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Hi Brandi,
I have to admit that I am not a canner, so I cannot answer your question. My canning friends tell me that if you compare this recipe to some you find in canning books and make sure they’re pretty similar in ingredients, and especially acids, then you could follow the canning book’s processing time for this recipe. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help, but since giving you advice here could end up in botulism, I don’t want to steer you wrong.
- Jamie

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margaret December 28, 2013 at 12:48 am

might not help this year—-just saw this site tonight—-but i have been making this butter for years— all most the same recipe—and i hot water bath the hot jars for 10 minutes min. for pints—at least 20 to 30 minutes for quarts jars—and they last well over two years—for i just found a jar in the back of my cabinets this past year… that was made two years back—still sealed and when i opened it —-it was sooo good!…if the seal is still tight you should have no troubles with botulism —-i come from a canning family for the past 4 generations—the thing to remember about canning is to follow recipes and keep jars sterile and water posses from the time the water starts to boil once again after they are dropped carefully into the canner of boiling water start the timing at that time….-.

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Elizabeth September 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm

So I don’t have to can it to be able to keep it in the freezer for 6 months?

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Jamie September 13, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Hi Elizabeth,
That’s correct. You can keep many fruit butters and jams in the freezer without canning them. Just remember that once they’ve been thawed even once, they should be used within about 10 days.
-Jamie

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Sharyl September 12, 2013 at 11:19 am

Had a Good time making this recipe. I peeled my apples around 9 pm and cooked them over night. Around 5:15 am I was surprise on how well everything did. However I am a bit concern on how thin the batch is. I am hoping that it start to thicken as 9 am comes around. I will do this recipe again, but I do think I will not use so much white and brown sugar that is called for. May be half next time around.. Thank you for the good recipe. I will forwarding it to my other canning friends on FB.

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Heather September 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Thank you for this delicious and easy recipe!!! I used ~5 pounds, cut back a bit on the sugars and spices to compensate and ended up with 5+ half pints that I water bathed for 10 minutes. The flavor is so good that I keep sneaking into the kitchen and eating a spoonful. That jar will be empty in no time.

Reply

Jamie September 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Heather-
This is one of my favorite fall recipes, I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it – I’m definitely guilty of sneaking spoonfuls while mine simmers away too!
-Jamie

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Elise Logan September 17, 2013 at 10:22 am

I’ve canned apple butter a number of times, and it is perfectly acceptable to do the boiling water canner. The apples are acidic enough and cooked long enough that boiling water canning is fine. The recommendation is (at lower altitudes) 5 minutes processing for pints, 10 minutes for quarts. You can see more on the process at the National Center for Home Food Preservation, here: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/apple_butter.html

The canning directions are not specific to their recipe, they apply to any long-cooking apple butter recipe. Hope that helps.

Reply

Emily September 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Hi! A couple of weeks ago my mom and I peeled a bunch of apples and covered them with that freshener stuff, and put them in the freezer. I want to make your apple butter, do you think I should thaw the apples first or can I put them in frozen? Thanks for the great sounding recipe!

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Jamie October 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Emily-
I think the frozen apples would be just perfect. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do!
-Jamie

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Lori September 24, 2013 at 9:26 am

I don’t have an immersion blender…would a regular blender work as well?!?!

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Jamie September 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

Lori-

A regular blender will work just fine! Thanks so much for stopping in and have a lovely day!

-Jamie

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Sarah September 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

This recipe is wonderful! I was intimidated at first but it turned out great!! Did it over night and finished it this morning! Looks and tasted so good!!! Thank you!!

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Jamie September 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

Sarah-

You are very welcome! I’m so happy to hear that you had a good experience with the recipe. Thank you so much for stopping in to share, and have a lovely day!

-Jamie

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amanda September 28, 2013 at 8:42 am

I just finished canning my first batch of this recipe yesterday, and it is amazing! Very interested in making another batch, but don’t have enough apples for a whole batch…if I just half the recipe, how long would you recommend cooking it for?

Reply

Jamie October 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Amanda-
I am so glad to hear it worked so well for you. Personally, I would just cook it with a watchful eye until it looks done. Sorry I am not more of a help in regards to the time. Have a great day!
-Jamie

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Lisa September 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I have seen recipes for Apple/Pear butter. Do you think I could mix apples and pears in your recipe? I also plan to water bath for storage.

Thanks

Reply

Jamie October 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Lisa-
I think that would be a delicious combination! Thanks for stopping by!
-Jamie

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Jackie September 30, 2013 at 7:56 pm

hi im giing to try the apple butter now is it 6.5ibs of apples total

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Jamie October 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Jackie-
I hope you love it as much as I do! Have a delicious day!
-Jamie

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Deb M October 1, 2013 at 8:23 am

What a great recipe! I can’t believe how delicious and decadent this apple butter is! I made a batch yesterday, and I’m going right back out to my apple tree this morning, and making another. I can truly say, that after 50 years of culinary pursuits, this is the number one best thing I have ever made. I’m telling all my friends where to find this recipe!

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Jamie October 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Deb-

Wow, what a lovely compliment! I’m thrilled to hear that you love the recipe. Have a fantastic day!

-Jamie

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CM October 1, 2013 at 10:21 am

I canned this exact recipe and got 7 half pint and 2 small 4 oz jars. Easy recipe and smells delicious. Just a personal preference and because I used a mix of apples, I’d probably cut back on the sugar just a little bit next time. I also used a blender and it worked just fine. Thanks for the recipe!

Reply

Jamie October 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm

You are very welcome! It’s great to hear that you enjoyed the recipe. Have a wonderful day.

-Jamie

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Christa October 4, 2013 at 3:04 am

I can’t tell you how excited I am to try this recipe! I’d love to find an easy Applesauce one too. This is truly a childhood memory that is good. I’ll have to let you know how it turns out but hopefully it will be Great!

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jen October 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I am going to try this receipe never really done alot of cooking but someone gave me a lot of apples just did my first apple pie. i will try this tomorrow

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Jamie October 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Jen-
It’s so easy and delicious! I hope you love it as much as we do. Thanks for stopping by!
-Jamie

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Tania October 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Wow, this recipe seems to taste like heaven! And the colour is just wonderful!
I was wondering if I would be getting a smooth result even if I don’t peel my apples? I’d like to keep all the nutriments from the peel. Do you think it will work or that I will be stuck with bits of peels everywhere?

Thanks!

Reply

Jamie October 16, 2013 at 10:34 am

Tania-

The apple peel will not cook down completely since it’s so fibrous. Let us know if you make it with the peel and how it turns out! Have a fantastic day!

-Jamie

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Melissa October 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm

There is NO SCHOOL today in our small town. The kids and I decided to make some apple butter in the crockpot with apples off of our tree! We googled a recipe and landed on your site! The apple butter is starting to smell good in our kitchen. The cows are loving the scraps! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

*Melissa & 3 lil ones*

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Jamie October 16, 2013 at 10:53 am

Melissa-

That’s wonderful to hear! I’m glad the cows get to enjoy part of the recipe too! Please stop back and let us know you and your kids thought of the recipe!

-Jamie

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Roger October 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm

My first try and worked out well……
Your jar does not look like a WICK? What brand do you use!

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Jamie October 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Roger-
I’m happy to hear the recipe worked out well for you. The jars are Weck 900 Mold Jars, you can find them here: https://secure.cnchost.com/weckjars.com/productsDetail.php?category=3 I hope this helps. Have a great day!
-Jamie

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Teri October 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

LUCKY ME ———x
an old orchardist gave me 3 boxes of apples and now they are simmering on our wood stove; getting all mushy and yummy!
I “googled” Apple Butter and YOUR site came up loud + clear!!
Aren’t I a lucky lady? Yes!!
And thank you thank you for having the recipe all ready to go for me.
Here’s to LiFE in the fall =)

Reply

Jamie October 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Teri-

Wow, what a great gift! Let us know how you like the recipe! Thank you so much for stopping in and have a wonderful day!

-Jamie

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Dawn October 18, 2013 at 11:32 pm

You don’t add any type of liquid?

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Jamie October 19, 2013 at 9:30 am

Dawn-
No liquid is included in this recipe. Thanks for stopping by.
Jamie

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Lynne October 20, 2013 at 12:28 am

Jamie, this looks great! I just finished setting up my crockpot. I used about five different varieties of apples, subbed xylitol and coconut crystals for the sugars (they don’t affect my blood glucose like sugar does,) and added a couple splashes of apple brandy. Thanks for sharing!

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Dana October 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Does this recipe require any water when cooking the apples?

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Jamie October 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Dana-
No, the recipe does not require water. Thanks for stopping by!
-Jamie

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Adrienne Rodney October 25, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Can you use homemade applesauce instead of uncooked apples, or will it change the texture?

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Jamie January 10, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Hi Adrienne, that would completely change the texture. I wouldn’t recommend it.
- Jamie

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Alli October 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm

What happens if you cook it for a bit longer than 12 hours? I have a brunch to go to the morning after i plan to make the apple butter this weekend :)

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Jamie January 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Alli, it should still be fine. You may have slightly less yield because it reduces the longer it cooks.
- Jamie

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vickie October 27, 2013 at 10:27 am

Can I use a food processor or blender as I do not have a immersion blender ? Thanks

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Jamie November 4, 2013 at 10:51 am

Vickie-

A regular blender would work just fine! Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic day!

-Jamie

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Jaimie October 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Having an apple peeler corer is such a time saver! I used the apple peels and cores to make jelly, used the apple fruit for apple butter,then I used the apple mash from the peels and cores that I boiled down and made horse apple treats and gave some warm mash to the hens. Quadruple usage of the apple! They truly are a giving tree!!

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Jamie October 28, 2013 at 10:40 am

Jaimie-

I’m glad that everyone got to share the recipe :)! Have a fantastic day and thank you so much for stopping in to share!

-Jamie

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Pat Cable October 30, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Any suggestions for a corrections for souply results. thanks

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Jamie January 10, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Continue to cook it. Move it from the slow cooker to the stove so you get a bit higher heat, and just allow it to keep reducing. It’ll eventually thicken up.
- Jamie

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PJ Bell November 3, 2013 at 8:22 am

Wonderful, easy, delicious recipe.
Thanks for sharing.

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Jamie November 4, 2013 at 10:42 am

PJ-

You’re so welcome! Have a great day!

-Jamie

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Joyce November 9, 2013 at 1:23 am

Hey Jamie, this recipe looks wonderful! I’m so excited to give them as Christmas gifts this year. However, I have little to no experience in canning or making any sorts of jams or butter. With that said I have a few questions. How long of a shelf life does this recipe have? How long can the butter be refrigerated for after opening?

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Jamie January 10, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Hi Joyce,
I’m not a canner either. It can be refrigerated, and should keep for up to 2 weeks.
- Jamie

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angela November 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I love the recipe!! I will sure try to make it. I am also in love with the labels you have in the jars. Did you make them? Thanks for sharing.

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Ragan December 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Making a shopping list now! This looks amazing! Can you tell me how many jars you get out of one batch, so I can better plan?

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Jamie January 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Ragan, unfortunately, I didn’t can it, so I can’t be of much help on the full yield. I would guess you’d need at least 6 8 oz jars, possibly more.
- Jamie

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ana December 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Hi, I don’t have a slow cooker…what else can I use to make this beautiful holiday recipe? Thanks

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Jamie January 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Ana, you can just cook it in a normal pot on the stove, you just need to do it on low heat over several hours. Just let it bubble away on the stove.
- Jamie

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Jill February 9, 2014 at 6:19 pm

This is absolutely DELICIOUS!! I love it with almond butter on a plain rice cake or dipping a frozen banana in it. I have to restrain myself from eating this spoonful after spoonful. Thank you for the great recipe!

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sue hammen July 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Jamie,
Apples are in the crook! I so love apple butter… Can’t wait for the end results. Question… I didn’t have ground clove but did have everything else. I don’t even like the smell or taste of cloives… So omitted it. Will it still be okay?
Thanks again for the recipe!
Sue

Reply

Jamie July 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Sue-
It will be totally fine – I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
-Jamie

Reply

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