Slow cooker apple butter; apple butter recipe made in the slow cooker. Makes 2 pints.
It's slow cooker season! And by 'season,' I mean this: I'm going to pull it out of the cabinet and use it exactly two times. I'll make my Mom's beef stew and apple butter recipe, and then it goes back into the cabinet to wait for Spring.
Truthfully, I'm not the biggest fan of the slow cooker, because, um it kinda makes food all taste the same way. I've tried hard to love it. I'm a busy Mama, and I know the slow cooker is my friend--it wants to be my friend.
This is the exact crockpot I use. I love it because it's oval and has the mini dipper with it!
My crockpot stares at me longingly when I'm on my tip toes trying to reach the pans on the top shelf, yet I reject it every time. I just need the thrill of the chase, you know? More like a Dutch oven with a few hot spots that requires some effort to coax out the flavor. I need it, well...to be a little less slutty. It should work a little harder for my love; it's too easy.
All the slow cooker has going for it is the ability to cook foods to mush.
Don't get me wrong, I use the slow cooker to make cranberry butter, creme brulee, and bread pudding. These foods benefit from a low and slow cooking environment. They're one notch above 'mush,' in a good way.
But, apple butter is supposed to be mushy, because it's apples cooked beyond their breaking point, stirred with sugar and spices. It's begging to be made in the slow cooker, so, grab a 3-pound bag and get to work!
This is a small batch apple butter recipe that makes 2 pints, or 4 half pints. It's just enough apple butter to enjoy (and not get sick of), plus a jar for a friend.
I've been stirring it into Camille's yogurt and topping my bagel with it, too.
Substitutions for this apple butter recipe:
I made it with half honey, and I love it that way, but I wanted to let you know I've made all-honey versions (for Camille, of course) and all-sugar versions, too. I try to keep Camille's sugar consumption on the natural side of things. I'll keep doing this as long as I can, but she has enjoyed a few bites of my all-sugar version a time or two.
I should also mention this is a good place to sub apple pie spice (or even pumpkin pie spice!) if you have it. Any and all warm spices are welcome here.
Don't miss my recipe for a small apple butter cake that is made in a bread loaf pan. This slow cooker apple butter recipe is very welcome in that cake!
I hope you enjoy the how-to video for this recipe, and let me know if you have any questions. If you're viewing on mobile, the video is at the top of the post; if you're viewing on Desktop, it's to the right of the page.
Slow Cooker Apple Butter (small-batch!)
Slow cooker apple butter, small batch style. Recipe makes just 2 pints of apple butter.
- 3 pounds of your favorite apples
- ⅓ cup honey
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice (optional)*
- Peel, core and roughly chop the apples.
- In the bottom of a slow cooker with a capacity of at least 2 quarts, stir together the honey, sugar, and spices.
- Add the apples, and stir to coat.
- Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours. Remove the lid, and stir until the apple fall apart. Continue cooking with the lid off for 30-60 minutes, until the apple butter thickens slightly.
- Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
*Feel free to substitute 1 ½ teaspoons of apple pie spice for all of the spices called for in the recipe.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 84Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 0g
Max Bonek says
I am in the middle of making this recipe and am stuck. Is it 3# apples before coring and peeling? I weighed mine after and am afraid I don't have enough spices in it. Help!
Christina Lane says
It's 3 pounds BEFORE coring and peeling! :)
Would it be OK if I prepared the apples and spices the night before, and then pressed the ON button on my Crock Pot before leaving for work the next morning?
Christina Lane says
Hmm...I'm a little worried that leaving the apples out overnight would make them brown. But I guess since they're turning brown while cooked, it's probably fine! I'm not sure about this from a food safety standpoint though. But I know exactly what you mean--it would be nice to prep at night and then come home from work to this deliciousness! Why not let the crockpot run overnight and wake up to deliciousness? I hope you enjoy it :)
Emily Martin says
I bought some Red Delicious apples off of guys selling them from a truck in our neighborhood. I wanted something to do with them, and found this! Not crazy about RDs, they can often be dry and mealy. So I took some, added a Pink Lady and a Granny Smith and went to work. In my multi cooker, they came out beautifully. And yes, folks, leave them in as long as you can, because they end up a dark caramel color, which is very pretty. Being lazy, and also loving skins and peels on almost everything (not bananas :-) I did not remove the skins. Lo and behold, that was no big deal. I think I picked maybe 3 little pieces of peel out of the pot. I tossed the whole shmear into the blender after they were all cooked. Amazing—the peel helped thicken the consistency and I was left with this spicy, creamy deliciousness. Honestly, my past with apple butter has been ‘meh’. But I figured making my own would be much better. Never going back to any kind of store bought!
Second time I am making this it was so good as was the cake made with it. Please can you tell me if this can be frozen.
Christina Lane says
Sure, freeze flat in bags and defrost in the fridge :)
Mary Ellen says
love this recipe - and your post, too! Could this be doubled? I have a large crackpot. Thanks in advance!
Kimberly Miller says
Oh my goodness this recipe is absolutely delicious! I changed it up a bit though. I used brown sugar instead of white also I used Granny Smith apples. I also added a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. I added a bit more brown sugar after tasting considering Granny Smith apples are tart. I remember my Aunt’s using apple cider vinegar to bring the tartness well Granny Smith is perfect in my opinion.
Can you can this in a boiling water bath? Or pressure cooker?