Easy Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe

As the weather begins to cool down and the apples begin to ripen, I get excited knowing that it is almost time to make our slow cooker Apple Butter recipe.

I had my first taste of apple butter in Ohio’s Amish country. At nearly every restaurant there is warm homemade bread brought to the table while you wait for your order to be cooked.

apple butter on toast
Our favorite way to eat apple butter – on a piece of warm bread or toast!

And at the end of every table there is an opened container of apple butter and whipped peanut butter.

So, of course, I had to try the famous Amish apple butter that everyone was raving about.

And I wasn’t disappointed! In fact, it was so delicious that I spread it on a few slices and wasn’t even hungry when my meal arrived.

Apple Butter vs. Applesauce

But exactly what is apple butter?

Both applesauce and apple butter are made by cooking down apples, usually with a liquid and various spices.

spoon of apple butter
Apple butter also makes for great holiday gifts!

However, applesauce is cooked just enough so that the apples can easily be broken down and pureed.

On the contrary, apple butter is cooked until the mixture becomes nice and thick and easily spreadable.

And don’t get confused with the name. There is no actual butter in this recipe.

The name actually refers to the consistency of the final cooked product.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Although you can make apple butter on the stove top, it is much easier to make it in the slow cooker.

But first you have to pick out the variety of apples that you want to use.

mcintosh apple
Fresh picked McIntosh apples.

Type of Apple

Although Granny Smith apples make fantastic pies and Apple Crisp, they are not good to turn into apple butter.

Instead use a sweeter apple such as Jonathan, Winesap, Gala, McIntosh or Cortland varieties.

And it is always best to use a mixture of apples rather than all the same type.

Peeling, Coring and Slicing The Apples

So now comes the tedious part of the recipe – peeling, coring, and slicing the apples.

apple peeler, corer, slicer
The easiest and fastest way to peel, slice and core apples.

I have made this recipe with both unpeeled and peeled apples. And I have to admit, that I prefer the texture when I peel the apples.

I use an apple peeler, corer, slicer which allows me to complete the entire process in under 5 minutes. To me, the end product is well worth the effort.

However, if you decide that you don’t want to peel your apples, simply use an immersion blender or high powered blender to puree the mixture after it has cooked down.

Seasonings

Next it is time to add the seasonings.

Of course no apple butter would be complete without cinnamon. However, it is the ground cloves that gives the slow cooker apple butter that classic taste.

ground cloves
Ground cloves gives the apple butter that classic flavor.

Although you don’t have to stir the seasonings to coat the apple slices, I prefer to do so.

During the cooking process, the apple slices will break down and once stirred, the cinnamon and cloves will be evenly incorporated into the mixture.

Adding Sweetener

Because Slow Cooker Apple Butter is a sweet spread, adding a sweetener is necessary.

apples in slow cooker
The apples are coated with sugar and spices and ready to be cooked down.

Although this recipe calls for granulated sugar, you can adjust the amount as desired.

Fresh picked apples are much sweeter than store-bought apples. When I pick apples from the orchard, I always taste the apple before I determine how much sugar that I need to use.

Typically, I use 2-3 cups for fresh apples, and 4 cups for store-bought apples.

You can also use sugar substitutes as well. Add the recommended ratio for standard substitutions. Keeping in mind, that if you are using a liquid substitute, it may take longer for the apple butter to thicken.

Storing Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Once the cooking process is complete use an immersion blender or food mill to puree the mixture.

canned apple butter
We prefer to can our apple butter for safe storage in our pantry.

Allow it to cool and then you are ready to store your homemade slow cooker apple butter!

We like to ladle the mixture in hot pint jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

However, you can also store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

It makes for a great addition to any breakfast, or even as a gift around the holidays!

If you want to make apple butter in an electric pressure cooker, check out our Instant Pot Apple Butter recipe.

Check out the printable recipe below and let me know what you think!

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Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe

Thick and sweet apple butter made easy by cooking it in a slow cooker. Served on toast, crackers, pancakes and more!
Servings: 5 pints

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs of apples peeled, cored, sliced
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into a large crock pot. Turn on high for 1 hour, then turn to low for an additional 10-11 hours. Uncover and cook for 1 hour longer on low to thicken.
  • Use an immersion blender or food mill to puree the mixture.
  • Place in an air-tight container and refrigerate.

Notes

Storing Tips: Refrigerate, freeze or can in a hot water canning bath for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude as needed.
Apples that are best to use – Jonathan, McIntosh, Winesap, Cortlands, and Gala are just a few of the varieties that we find best for making good apple butter.
Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Easy Slow Cooker Apple Butter Recipe
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