An incredibly rich and old-fashioned flavored apple butter that makes itself while you are sleeping. The long, slow cooking process renders a wonderfully deep flavor with notes of caramelized apple. It’s absolutely delicious! And if you want to store it long term, this recipe includes instructions for canning your apple butter!
An incredibly rich and old-fashioned flavored apple butter that makes itself while you are sleeping. This no-hassle recipe leaves the peels on so you have very minimal prep work (and can enjoy the extra health benefits of the peel). The deep brown caramelized color, thick consistency, and depth of flavor is only achievable through a low heat and lengthy cooking process. And boy, is this crock pot apple butter worth the wait! Use this apple butter like you would any other sweet spread (on bread, toast, muffins, scones, etc., in these amazing Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls, and it’s also excellent as a base for barbecue sauce!
My husband, Todd, and I have several annual harvesting traditions. For years now, starting when we were dating, we’ve gone wild blackberry picking each Summer. Now that we have acreage with tons of blackberries of our own, we don’t have to venture very far. Our record high was 19 gallon freezer bags full! We enjoyed healthy smoothies all year long.
Another harvest tradition is late summer/early autumn apple picking. Previously we used to pick apples from a large orchard owned by a friend. Horses used to graze that orchard and they always made apple picking especially fun.
Sadly that friend has now passed on and the orchard was sold. Fortunately though we acquired several apple trees with the purchase of our home a few years ago and we planted 12 more of them two years ago.
We just finished our annual apple harvest and pressed about 15 gallons of fresh apple cider. (Looking for a great apple cider press or how to bottle and preserve apple cider for long-term storage? Check out our review and how-to article!) I’ve also been making my own raw apple cider vinegar, fruit leather, applesauce and of course this deeelicious slow cooker apple butter!
Be sure to give yourself the full 24 hours to make this crockpot apple butter. Start it during a time of day when you know you’ll be home about 4 hours before it’s done. The last few hours of cooking time you’ll want to give it an occasional stir. About 4 hours before it’s done you’ll also need to remove the lid to allow your apple butter to thicken. Depending on the juice content of your apples, you may need to let it cook a bit longer until it has reached your desired consistency.
The amount of sugar you use will depend on the sweetness of the apples. Whether the apples you’re using are sweet or tart, adjust the sugar accordingly. And remember, you can always start with less and add more toward the end.
You’re going to love what 24 hours of slow cooking does to this apple butter. Just when you think it can’t taste any better, you keep letting it cook until it’s rendered down to a rich dark brown color with a depth of caramelized flavor that will make you swoon!
Let’s get started!
Measure out the apples, apple cider, and apple cider vinegar.
Wash, quarter, and core the apples. Place them in a 7-quart slow cooker (if you don’t own one that large, simply half the recipe). Don’t worry about them turning brown – the apple butter is going to be brown anyway!
Add the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.
Pour in the apple cider and apple cider vinegar. Give it a quick stir.
Cook the apple butter on LOW.
After about 20 hours the apple butter will look like this:
Use a blender stick to puree the apple butter until it’s smooth. I use and like the Cuisinart Smart Stick. Blender sticks are a great little appliance to have. Also perfect for pureeing creamed soups instead of having to pour the hot soup in a blender and deal with cleanup.
Alternatively, you can (carefully!) pour the apple butter in a blender (you’ll probably need to do it in batches) and puree it.
At this point, let the apple butter continue to cook – with the lid open – to further thicken it. Let it cook for 4 more hours, stirring occasionally. Depending on how juicy your apples are, you may need to cook it a bit longer until the desired consistency is reached. Taste it and add more brown sugar if needed.
If you’d like to store your apple butter long-term, it’s super easy to can it!
While the apple butter is still hot, ladle it into hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Clean the rims with a wet cloth or paper towel, screw on the lids and process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. This water bath canning set comes with everything you need.
Store for up to a year in a cool place. This recipe yields about 5 pints.
Alternatively, freeze or keep in the fridge in air-tight jars for at least a month. This apple butter also makes wonderful gifts!
Amazing 24-Hour Slow Cooker Apple Butter
- 6 pounds apples , stemmed, cored, cut into quarters
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 1/2 cups apple juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Place the apples in a 7-quart slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Give it a gentle stir. Cook the apples on the "low" setting for 20 hours, giving the mixture an occasional stir after the first few hours of cooking.
- After 20 hours, use a [url:1]blender stick [/url]to puree the apple butter until smooth. Continue to cook, now with the lid open, for the remaining 4 hours to allow the apple butter to further thicken. Depending on how juicy your apples are, you may need to cook it a bit longer until the desired consistency is reached. At this point, taste and add more sugar if desired.
- If you'd like to store your apple butter long-term, it's super easy to can it! This water bath canning set has everything you need. While the apple butter is still hot, ladle it into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, and process the jars in a water bath for 15 minutes. The apple butter will store in a dark, cool place for up to a year. Alternatively, freeze or store in the fridge in air-tight jars for at least a month. Makes about 5 pints.