Slow cooker apple butter takes your biscuits, toast, and muffins to a whole new level!
Plus, with this easy recipe, you can make it for a fraction of what it costs in the store.
Apple butter makes the perfect holiday gift to share with family and friends. All the scents and flavors of fall wrapped up in a jar!
This slow cooker apple butter is super easy to make. The recipe is almost hands free.
With only 30 minutes of prep time, you’ll just need to chop the apples into pieces and mix them with your trusty spices.
The rest of the cooking steps are left to your slow cooker.
Apple butter isn’t only for your early morning meals. It’s also a great addition to BBQ sauce, to give burgers and chicken tenders extra flavor. Yum!
This apple spread also makes for an appetizing gift if you’re hosting this year’s Thanksgiving. Who wouldn’t love that?
Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Besides the crimson leaves and misty mornings, what I adore the most about autumn is apples.
Whenever these red, juicy fruits arrive at the local market, I just can’t resist buying some and making one of my favorite apple recipes.
If you haven’t had this seriously good spread before, you’re in for a treat. Homemade apple butter is my all-time favorite treat when the weather starts to cool.
But you might be surprised to find there isn’t a hint of butter included in this recipe.
Apple butter is actually applesauce, only thicker and better. It calls for long cooking hours to get that intensified flavor, concentrated texture, and caramelized color.
In contrast, applesauce is quicker to make, around 30 minutes. Hence, it’s thinner and lighter, with some bits and pieces of apples left in the sauce.
Although you can also create homemade applesauce using your slow cooker, note that you only have to cook it down until it’s soft and mushy.
If you keep cooking the applesauce past the stage where it gets saucy, then you’ll get the thick, caramelly apple butter.
So, if you have some applesauce on hand, you can make apple butter from it or just create it from scratch. It’s that simple!
You can swirl the apple butter into cupcakes, stir it into your oatmeal, or brush it on meat during the last few minutes of cooking.
The possibilities are endless with this delicious, glossy applesauce.
Apples. The star of this recipe. Make sure you get the freshest from the nearest market. McIntosh, Gala, Red Delicious, and Fuji are some of the best options. You don’t really need a specific kind of apple, though. Don’t be afraid to create your own mix!
A mixture of warm spices. This includes ground cinnamon and ground cloves that bring a perfect blend of sweet, woody, and citrusy flavors to the recipe.
Salt. You’ll only need a little to cut through the natural sweetness of apples.
Sugar. The recipe requires four cups but feel free to adjust as needed. Some apples are sweeter than expected, so you may want to cut down on sugar in that case.
If you’re looking to cut down on sugar, you can cut the sugar in half and use just 2 cups. Alternatively, you can also replace the sugar with 3/4 cup of honey if you prefer.
For a richer flavor, use 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of white sugar. Or, simply replace one of the cups of white sugar with brown sugar.
Best Apples for Apple Butter
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to apple butter. You can use just about any apples that you have on hand.
However, the softer varieties generally work best because they cook down faster.
- Golden Delicious
And of course, if you have a different variety of apples, you can use those as well. The harder apples take a little bit longer to cook, but they’re just as delicious!
And since we’re using the crockpot, you can set it and forget it. My kind of cooking.
Tips for Making Apple Butter in the Crockpot
Even though the crockpot will do most of the work, there are still a few things you must do to achieve the desired smoothness, texture, and taste. Here are a few tips and tricks:
- All kinds of apples are acceptable to use, but the best ones are “saucing apples” like Golden Delicious, Fuji, and McIntosh. They have tender flesh that breaks down easily, making an excellent choice for a sauce.
- For an extra vitamin boost, leave on the skin of apples when making the butter.
- You don’t have to add water to the slow cooker. Natural juices from the apples come out after 30 minutes of cooking.
- The cooking time for apple butter on low is around 9 to 11 hours. Cook it for the longest time possible for a nice, thick spread.
- Stir the mixture occasionally to ensure its smoothness.
- Leaving the apple butter slightly chunky is preferred if you’re going to use it for other recipes.
- To check for doneness, spoon out some of the butter and turn it upside down. If it has the right consistency, it won’t fall off the spoon right away.
- Another way to check for the butter’s doneness is to place a small amount on a plate. If the butter stays mounded without accumulations of liquid around it, it’s good to go!
How to Use Apple Butter
From cinnamon rolls to pies, to spice cakes, to waffles, you can spread apple butter onto almost anything that needs a sweet and caramelly boost. Yup, even plain crackers!
For an addictive autumn snack, I love pairing apple butter with different varieties of cheese. Apple butter is a fantastic stand-in for jam.
Just slap it on your cheeseboard and have fun making sweet and salty combinations!
When baking, you can also use the apple butter in place of egg or plain butter to create soft and moist goodies.
How Long is Apple Butter Good For?
When kept in an airtight container inside the fridge, apple butter can last up to one month. But with its various uses, I doubt that this sweet-smelling, delectable spread will last that long.
If you want your apple butter to last longer, simply store it in the freezer. Frozen apple butter can last up to a year. Just don’t forget to thaw it in the fridge when ready to serve.
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