It’s crock pot season. It’s time for warm soups, hearty chilis, and, now, sweet, warm apple butter for your slow cooker repertoire. Your home will smell amazing after you make this easy and delicious apple butter recipe. Frankly, it’s worth it just for the aroma.
The slow cooker will do all the work and after, you can enjoy apple butter on toast, crackers, yogurt, cookies, ice cream, pancakes, or my personal favorite, simply by the spoonful.
Apple Butter Recipe
What apples are best?
You will want to use sweeter apples like Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Gala for the best taste, and avoid tart and more acidic apples like Granny Smith. Stick with your favorite sweet apple and don’t worry too much as you can easily adjust the sweetness of the apple butter to your liking when making the recipe.
- 3 pounds of sweet apples (roughly 7 to 8 medium apples)
- 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 3 heaping tablespoons of honey OR you can use ¼ cup of white sugar and a ¼ cup of brown sugar
Also feel free to omit the honey and sugar if you’d rather have a sugar-free apple butter. You can always add in more honey or sugar later while it’s cooking if you decide it doesn’t taste sweet enough. The sweetness of your apple butter will also largely depend on how sweet your apples are.
- First, peel, core, and cut all your apples into small pieces. No more than ¾ inch thick.
- Place all your apples into the slow cooker and add the spices, salt, vanilla, and either the honey or sugar on top.
- Mix very well.
- Cook on low for around 10 hours and stir every couple of hours. The apple butter should look thick and brown.
- After the 10 hours, you can either leave the apple butter chunky or for a smooth texture, take the apple butter in small batches and blend it in your blender or in your food processor.
- After you blend the apple butter to your preferred texture, place back in your slow cooker and cook uncovered on high for about 1 hour to thicken the apple butter. Now is also the perfect opportunity to taste test your apple butter and see if you’d like to add more honey or sugar for sweetness.
- Once the apple butter is done cooking, scoop it into jars and keep in the refrigerator. The apple butter will last around 2 weeks in the fridge or you can freeze it which will be good for several months.
This is the perfect way to use up all those apples you picked at the orchard before they go bad, not to mention you will thoroughly impress all your friends and relatives with your homemade apple butter.
And if you haven’t made it to the orchards yet, sure you can get all the apples at your grocery store, or instead, go on a little adventure to the AppleHouse right down the road from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and pick out from over 50 varieties of apples that were exclusively developed by the University of Minnesota.
You’ll find sweet varieties perfect for your apple butter recipe like SweeTango, Red Baron, McIntosh, Sweet Sixteen, Honeycrisp, and the U of M’s newest apple creation: First Kiss. And if you go on the weekends of Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 6-7 from 1-3pm you can assist the U of M with their research by taste-testing and rating apples that are still in the research and development stage and help the University in making their next delicious apple creation.
Now go enjoy your new favorite fall treat!