Homemade Apple Butter made two ways - on the stove top and in a slow cooker. You pick the method that works best for you.
Apple butter has always been a special treat for us. When I was a kid it was my dad's favorite. We used to buy apple butter and give it to him for birthdays, Father's Day and even Christmas.
We obviously didn't get very creative but he always seemed to be surprised! Nowadays, I make homemade apple butter and Dad still gets it from time to time as a gift....hope I didn't spoil the next birthday surprise, Dad!
What is apple butter?
Apple butter does not contain any butter. None whatsoever! So why is it called apple butter? Apple butter is cooked until it is soft and creamy and spreads nice and smooth.
Sometimes I like to leave mine just ever so chunky, and sometimes I make it as smooth as butter - I just couldn't resist the play on words!
How do I use apple butter?
Apple butter can be used anyplace you use jam. I use it on toast, english muffins, on pancakes and I often use it in these oatmeal bars in place of the applesauce.
Why make apple butter in a slow cooker?
- The slow cooker does all the work - well, almost all the work! You just add the ingredients and turn it on low.
- There's very little worry about the apple butter burning.
- You don't need to stir while it's cooking.
- The apple butter contains a lot of liquid from condensation, making it easy to puree.
Why make apple butter on the stove top?
- The total amount of cook time is quicker than a slow cooker.
- You get a hands-on touch when using the stove stop.
- You can make a big, double batch, if you have a large pot.
- It's the way your grandmother made it!
How many apples do I need?
I made this recipe with about 18 medium sized apples. My crock pot has a 6 quart capacity. If yours is smaller, you will need to use fewer apples. If you have a large amount of apples and a large stove top pot, you can increase the amount of apples you use. This recipe can be double if using the stove top method.
Do I need to peel and core the apples?
You do need to core the apples, but I don't bother to peel them. In the end, everything is pureed and the skins are not noticeable.
Slow Cooker Method
Core and chop apples, no need to peel the apples
Add apples to a slow cooker
Add a small amount of water, sugar and spices and stir together.
Put lid on and turn slow cooker to low. Cook for 6 hours until apples are soft.
Use an immersion blender to puree mixture.
If mixture is too soupy, turn heat to high with cover off for approximately 30 minutes.
Stove top method
Place chopped apples in a pot along with a small amount of water.
Cook over medium low heat for about one hour. Stir mixture often to avoid scorching.
Add sugar and spices and stir.
Continue cooking for an additional hour until apples are completely soft.
Add ¼ cup of water to help thin mixture.
Puree mixture with an immersion blender. Add additional water if too thick.
How do I store apple butter?
Apple butter can be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer. You can also add to canning jars and process in a hot water bath. To can, follow the directions for canning this blackberry jam.
Other canning recipes you might want to try:
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If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop
- 5 pounds apples
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
Stove Top Method
- Core and chop apples.
- Place into a heavy stock pot with about ¼ cup of water in the base of pot.
- Heat on medium low heat until apples start to soften. Stir apples to prevent scorching.
- After about one hour, add sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.
- After another hour, puree mixture with an immersion blender. Add ¼ cup of water if mixture is too thick.
- Ladle into canning jars and process in hot water bath or freeze in freezer safe containers.
Slow Cooker Method
- Core and chop apples.
- Place in a slow cooker along with water, sugar and spices. Stir to combine.
- Set slow cooker to low heat. Cover and let cook for 6 hours.
- Puree mixture with an immersion blender.
- If mixture is too soupy, turn slow cooker to high and remove lid. Let cook for an additional 30 minutes.