Warm, spiced, and delicious on everything. This slow cooker apple butter recipe is the go-to recipe when you take a trip to your local orchard and need something to do with all of those apples. Spread in on a stack of warm pancakes or eat it over a fresh piece of toast.
Slow Cooker Apple butter is seriously one of my favorite things to make at the beginning of fall. You take your annual trip to the orchard and have this overabundance of fresh ripe apples to use. You can add it on just about any bread or baked good and it’s absolutely delicious.
With hints of cloves and cinnamon and of course the signature apple flavor, just one bite will have you wanting to light the fall candles and bake some warm bread to slather it on. Best part, it’s actually very easy to make and makes for a festive thing to do in the kitchen.
A Short History
I love a hearing about little nuggets of history. And if this isn’t your cup of tea, just skip on down. There’s some fascination in picturing where this delicious spread came from. And why is it called “Apple Butter” when it contains no butter at all?
Apple butter originated in Germany during the Middle Ages where monasteries had an overabundance of apples. It was created as a way to store the apples so they could still be enjoyed through out the winter ahead where fresh produce would be scarce.
Cooking apple butter used to be a community event. Cider was boiled down from fresh apples. Then the picked bushels of apples were cored, peeled, quartered and added into the boiling cider where it was stirred for hours. Everyone would take turns stirring. I can picture and smell it now. People socializing and the beginning smells of fall wafting through the air. The name “Apple Butter” is actually given due to the consistency of the topping being thick & spreadable like butter.
Which Apples To Use for Slow Cooker Apple Butter
For apple butter, I prefer a sweeter apple that has a really good flavor. Something tart like a Granny Smith may be good for apple pies and baking, but it would not be my choice apple here. I prefer Galas, Mcintosh, Honeycrips, or Fujis. I’ve never been too picky about this. I normally just mix up what I’ve picked at the orchard and it always turns out so yummy. You can mix them up or do one specific type. I want to add that mixing the apple types up gives a variety of apple flavors.
What is Apple Butter Good With?
The options are endless! Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy it.
- Used as a topping on pancakes or waffles
- Over ice cream or in greek yogurt
- Spread on toast
- Added into baked goods
How to Make Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Apple butter can be made either in a crock pot or on the stove. I prefer it in the crockpot so I can just add the ingredients and let it cook. I wanted to keep this recipe close to how original apple butter was made as far as ingredients go. It’s a nice thick, spreadable consistency as well as a complex profile of apple flavors.
Rinse the apples off (especially if from an orchard. A lot of them spray the apples)
Peel, core, and quarter the apples
Add to a slow cooker with all of the spices, cider and sugar
Let simmer on a low cycle for 4 hours
Puree the cooked down apples with an immersion blender
Can your apple butter in a water bath canner for 10 minutes if using 8 oz jars and 15 minutes if using 16 oz jars
Slow Cooker Apple Butter Ingredients
20 apples of different varieties. 20 filled up my 8 quart crock pot when peeled and cut down. For the varieties, I chose what was in season at the orchard which was Gala, Golden Delicious, and Jonagold.
1 1/2 cups of fresh apple cider. The orchard I go to has a no sugar added, unpasteurized cider that is a great addition to the apple butter.
1 1/2 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/3 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar. I used coconut sugar to make this a healthier option and it tasted just as delicious as if I were to use brown sugar. Either works here.
That sums up my little home made apple butter recipe. I hope you enjoy it on all of your baked goods this fall. Let me know in the comments what your favorite thing is to eat apple butter on. I’d love to hear!
Other Fall Recipes On The Blog
- 20 apples (3 different varieties)
- 1 1/2 cup of fresh apple cider
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- Rinse the apples then pare and quarter them.
- Add the apples, cider, sugar and spices to the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 4 hours stirring halfway through the cooking cycle.
- After apples are done cooking, stir again and blend with immersion blender (a regular blender works as well if you don't have an immersion blender)
- Can or eat fresh!
I recommend a variety of naturally sweet and soft apples. These give a better flavor and consistancy when cooked down. The variety of apples adds to the complexity of the finished taste of the apple butter. I used gala, golden delicious, and Jonagolds.