Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crock Pot Spiced Apple Butter

Crockpot apple butter is easy to make with just 4 ingredients! Make this delicious fruit spread for yourself or to give as holiday gifts. 

Crockpot apple butter spread onto slice of white bread next to loaf of bread


Nothing says fall better than the scent of spiced apples filling your kitchen. 

While it’s easy to light a candle or make a stovetop simmer, making homemade apple butter creates the same aroma with a delicious end result!

The best part about this apple butter crockpot recipe is that you can set it and forget it. Just toss everything in the crockpot and go about your day.

You will need to check it after the first hour, otherwise there’s nothing to be done until the very end. 


What is apple butter?

Despite the name, it is not apple-flavored butter! It’s nearly identical to applesauce, except it’s cooked longer for a deeper, more concentrated flavor.

This creamy apple spread can be spread on toast, muffins, and pancakes. Or, mix some into your morning oatmeal.

Use it in place of other jam or fruit fillings for baking, or make a simple peanut butter and apple butter sandwich.

It’s delicious with savory dishes too! Just combine it with walnuts and cayenne pepper to make my Spicy Walnut Apple Butter Pork Loin.


Best apples for homemade apple butter

Any of your favorites will work for this creamy apple spread. Generally, softer varieties will cook down faster, so use a mix of apples if you want to include a firmer kind like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith.

I chose Fuji this time because they are one of the most popular and affordable varieties of apple, and they’re available all year round. 

Some other great options are:

  • Golden Delicious
  • Pink Lady
  • Gala 
  • McIntosh
  • Jonagold

Peel and core apples.  Chop apples into small pieces.

peeled and sliced apples on cutting board with knife


slices of Fuji apples on cutting board for apple butter recipe

Place apples, sugar, cinnamon and allspice in crock pot (I used 5 quart).  Stir to coat apples with sugar and spices. 

apples and spices in slow cooker for crockpot apple butter


apples cooking in a slow cooker

Cook on high for 1 hour, with cover on.  You will notice the beautiful juice the apples, sugar and spices have started to create.  Also the aroma coming from your crockpot is heavenly!

stirring pot of homemade apple butter with wooden spoon


making creamy apple spread in a slow cooker

After one hour, stir apples and turn to low.  Cook covered for 8 hours on low.  Transfer apples and juices to a blender and puree.

apples cooking down for an apple butter crockpot recipe


pureeing cooked apples and spices in a blender

Return to crock pot and cook on high for 1 hour, uncovered.  Prepare to can apple butter.

overhead photo: large black pot full of creamy apple spread


canning apple butter in mason jars

Can by water bath according to manufacturers instructions.  I chose to use the 'inversion method' of canning jams and jellies. It is fast and painless!

creamy homemade apple butter in mason jars on kitchen towel

Ingredient substitutions

Make this crockpot apple butter recipe your own by experimenting with different spices and flavors. 

If you find that it’s too sweet for your liking, add a dash of salt with the rest of the ingredients.

  • Apples - Use a blend of two or three varieties, or even replace some of the apples with pears.
  • Sugar - Substitute half of the granulated sugar with light brown sugar for more caramelized flavor.
  • Spices - Replace the cinnamon and allspice with apple pie spice blend. Or, add in any combination of nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom.
  • Flavoring - Add up to 1 teaspoon of vanilla to make this slow cooker apple butter a bit sweeter.

Crockpot apple butter tips and tricks

Plan ahead

Because this takes about 10 hours to cook, make sure to start it first thing in the morning. You can always chop the apples the night before and keep them in the refrigerator to save prep time in the morning.

Don’t worry about browning; it doesn’t affect the end result anyway.

Vent the blender

When pureeing the slow cooker apple butter, don’t seal the lid completely. The heat from the apples will create a buildup of steam, and the lid can pop off and make a giant mess. Either place the lid on the blender at an angle or leave off the center cap if your lid has one.

Canning

Leave about ¼-inch headspace when filling the jars, per the Ball - Complete Book of Home Canning. This is important to create a vacuum seal, since the spread may expand during processing.


Make a smaller batch

Easily halve this recipe if you have some apples that need to be used up quickly. Just keep an eye on them, as it may not take quite as long to cook.


Enjoy!

Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted Italian.com

12 comments:

  1. This would be SUCH a good "end of the year" gift for all of my teacher friends! :-) I'm totally going to do this!

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  2. Yum! these and your dried apple rings have me CRAVING apples like no other. saving this recipe for sure. i love apple butter on pancakes. :)

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  3. i have never thought to make butter in the crockpot! GENIUS

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  4. My son loves apple butter and I too have always been afraid to make it myself. I guess I'll have to give it a try now that you have claimed it so easy to make.

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  5. Lovely! Sadly, I'm allergic to cinnamon, so I can't indulge, but I'm getting ready to can for the first time ever this year and i am SO excited!

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  6. Wow, I had no idea it was so easy! I'd love to have my house smelling so delicious!

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  7. Wow... this is awesome! I would love to try this! I love making homemade spreads and dips, and this would be a lovely addition! Thanks for sharing :)

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  8. I am a big fan of apple butter. My mom made this best in the whole world! Of course I haven't tried yours - yet! Thanks and have a great weekend.

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  9. Just one question. Approximately how full do you fill the jars?

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    1. Ball - Complete Book of Home Canning states 1/4" head space. Enjoy.

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  10. I have been making this, it is delicious so far! After about 5 hours on low the apples were soft enough and I used a hand blender, since then it has been on high with the top off to thicken. I can't imagine 1 hour being long enough! It has been thickening for about 8 hours total for me and as of right now it is still somewhere between applesauce and apple butter in consistency... But everyone's crock pot is different so that may be why. So glad I found this recipe, I have very fond memories as a child of going to the country to my grandparents' friends cabin where they had an apple orchard, helping them pick apples and watching them make apple butter. We would then have jars of freshly made apple butter and it has been so long since I have had it. I've seen they sell some in stores but there are all kinds of ingredients in them so to be able to make it myself with only 4 ingredients is just lovely.
    Anyway thought I would thank you for the recipe and add in my experience since I haven't seen anyone else comment that they have tried it! If you are thinking about trying it - do it!

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  11. Any problems trying to blend hot apples and juice? A little concerned about blowing the top off the blender because it is hot. Help!

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