Easy apple butter recipe chillin’ in a crock pot. Learn how to make smooth or chunky homemade apple butter that goes perfect on breakfast toast or even a dinner recipe like sage pork! Plus, your house will smell divine.
It is a well known fact that if you are a mom and your kids keep eating all the apples, you will buy a ton more. And then they will stop eating them. (try it, it works) And if you are anything like me, having a ton of fruit to spoil on the counter has you scrambling for new recipes to try.
Slow cooker apple butter is one of those apple recipes that makes using a ton of apples simple, delicious and easy. Apple butter can be left chunky with soft incredibly cinnamon apples piled on a bagel or smoother and creamy for golden toast.
Apple butter is also awesome stirred into oatmeal and can even make a dinner appearance on pork or turkey.
This recipe is relatively quick to prepare, maybe 10 minutes and then add your cooking time in a crock pot (which is a lot longer). But the great thing about a slow cooker is you do not have to babysit your food!
Here are what ingredients you need to gather to get started:
- apples – Common apples used in apple butter are softer apples like Golden and Red delicious. Other apples that are used in classic apple butter are McIntosh, Fuji, Liberty and Braeburn. Using softer apples helps the apple butter cook faster.
- sugar – Sugar is a controversial topic when it comes to apple recipes. Many people feel that apples contain enough natural sugars and are sweet on their own. You do not need to add sugar in apple butter if you do not want, but I personally find that it makes the classic traditional taste most people recognize. Sugar may also be substituted for brown sugar or used half and half.
- spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt
RELATED CONDIMENT RECIPES: Cinnamon Sugar Butter
Chunky or Smooth Apple Butter?
If your apple butter looks like applesauce and you want a smooth apple butter, you can use an immersion blender to blend it. Add a little water (start with 1/2 cup) and blend until the consistency is that of what you desire.
The amount of apple you leave in the apple butter is entirely up to you. Apple butter can also be blended down to a complete smoother consistency that goes great on toast.
What is the difference in apple butter and applesauce?
Mainly consistency and process.
Applesauce contains quickly cooked apples that are ground down and apple butter is a longer process with slow cooked apples, usually cinnamon and is left as a thicker, spreadable butter.
Do I have to add sugar to Apple Butter?
Absolutely not. Classic apple butter does contain sugar, up to one cup as noted in this chunky apple butter recipe, however, depending on the apple type you use, sugar can be adjusted down as wanted.
Can apple butter be made on the stove top?
It can, but like all stovetop recipes, putting contents on the stove requires attention and babysitting to make sure apples do not burn. Because apple butter takes a minimum of 2 hours for apples to break down and become soft enough for butter, it is a long time on the stove to be left unattended.
Can this apple butter recipe be doubled?
This recipe is also easy to double if you have a large slow cooker. You can also use the left overs to make Apple Butter Bread.
Personally I prefer a slow cooked version that you can set and forget. However, if you do want to cook on the stove, use a deep pot, bring all mixture to a boil with a cup of liquid (like apple juice or water) and then add a lid, reduce heat and let simmer about 2 hours. Once apples are soft and brown, remove from heat, cool and blend down to desired level.
Best way to cut an apple
For this recipe, you do have to remove the apples skins.
Personally I hate peeling apples, but I do have an apple slicer and it makes it SO MUCH EASIER to get make sure all the apples are uniform in size (so even cooking) and its super easy to use a pairing knife to do the apple skin at that point.
I bought my apple slicer at Walmart or you can order on here on Amazon and have it around. It’s a FANTASTIC kitchen item- you really don’t know what you are missing until you have one.
They have them with a little bottom that helps push the apples out of the slicer or just the slicer itself which you can push down on a cutting board (as shown).
How to make Apple Butter
Once apples are cored, peeled and cut, move on to the next phase.
Add apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a slow cooker and mix well.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and heat on high for 2 hours.
Reduce heat to low for 8-10 hours or until apples are cooked through.
You want your apples to be dark brown, and mushy/soft.
Stir in butter until melted.
Use a potato masher, back of the spoon or whisk to break up apples.
Makes 1-1/4 cups
How to Store Homemade Apple Butter
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You might be able to can apple butter longer, but truthfully that is out of my knowledge so I do not want to lend advice on long term storage. If anyone reading knows more about long term canning, please feel free to comment below to help other readers. Thank you!
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Crock Pot Apple Butter
- 2-1/2 lbs apples - peeled and cored
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- How to make Apple Butter in the Crock Pot
- Add peeled and cut apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a slow cooker and mix well.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and heat on high for 2 hours.
- Reduce heat to low for 8-10 hours or until apples are cooked through.
- Apples should be dark brown, and mushy/soft.
- Stir in butter until melted.
- Use a potato masher, back of the spoon or whisk to break up apples.
- Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Apple Butter Recipe Tips
- This recipe is also easy to double if you have a large slow cooker.
- Apple butter like this is great for toast, bagels, English muffins, as well as pork main dish dinners. I also use extra as an ingredient in my apple bread recipe.
- Serving size is super complicated to figure out with condiments since most "experts" only use 1 tablespoon as a serving size – thats typically unrealistic so please rely on your own apps to customize what you eat and the nutritional value