I love apple butter so much. I love it for the taste, I love it for the season, but I mostly love it because it reminds me of my grandmother. I remember eating it straight from the jar and eating it in the form of apple pies. To me apple butter just embodies all things old fashioned and comforting. Today I want to show you how to make apple butter in your slow cooker.
What is apple butter and why do you need it in your life?
Apple butter is basically a thicker, spicier, tastier kind of apple sauce I’d say. But really it’s more of a spread. So you eat it like jam spread on pancakes or bread or by the spoon! If you’ve never had it and you love apples then you really must make it. It’s so delicious.
You can make apple butter in your instant pot, but for me I really feel like making it in the slow cooker captures more of the essence apple butter. Taking time to make something old fashioned, by hand. And you just can’t beat the delicious way it makes your house smell while it cooks down.
Apple butter can be made anytime of the year, but fall is a really great time because it is in fact the traditional time to make it. So apples are available in bulk from orchards, or on sale at your local grocery store. Last year I was able to get four bushels from an orchard in our state. This year I’m doing a smaller quantity from my local grocery store.
Apple Butter is really great just made up and eaten from the fridge or frozen for later use, but this is one of those projects I think it’s worth taking the time to home can them. It makes a great homemade Christmas gift or holiday hostess gift.
What kind of apples should you use?
I don’t think it really matters, honestly, thought it’s said using a variety of apples is best. Just get you some apples and make it! I’m a big fan of not over thinking it all so much. You are adding spices and sugar, any apple (preferably on sale) will do!
I am not the sugar police, but I do try to be mindful and keep it reduced when and where I can. I think apple butter is one of those things I think is special so I do use a little bit of sugar, but cut it in half more or less and try to use some healthier sugar. Sure apples have a natural sweetness so you can definitely just go no sugar.
Here’s how to make apple butter in your slow cooker:
5 pound bag of apples
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup coconut sugar (you can do all white sugar and you can add more to your preference of sweetness)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp all spice
pinch of cloves
The exact amount of spices don’t really matter in my opinion it turns out no matter what combination your use. Do it to taste! Make it to your preference! Use what you have on hand!
Peel, core and remove seeds of all the apples. I have a Kitchenaid mixer that has an attachment that makes this go a lot faster. But if you don’t have one grab a couple kids to help you. And if you rather not, just savor the moment and think of your grandmother while you peel 🙂
Slice apples and drop them in your slow cooker.
Top with the sugar and spices.
Cover and cook on low all day (10 hours or so).
Make sure to do this on a day you can enjoy and savor the delicious aroma!
After your apples have been cooked thoroughly, use an immersion blender to blend it all up. Check your apple butter consistency. If you want your apple butter to be thicker then let it simmer on low awhile longer til it reaches the thickness you desire. Otherwise it is ready!
Transfer to glass mason jars and store in the fridge or brush up on water bath canning skills and can your apple butter for longer shelf storage. Freezing apple butter works well too.
Yields: About 6-8 half pint jars. This will be variable as to how much juice is in your apples, how long you let it simmer.
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