Homemade apple butter is the best! That thick ‘butter’ like consistency apple sauce spread all over some cinnamon toast in the morning is simply amazing! Apple butter is basically an apple sauce that is reduced to a thick butter like consistency so that it can be spread, like butter, on things like toast, bagels, pancakes, waffles, etc. The apple flavour is concentrated as the apples are reduced and this really intensifies the apple flavour! Apple butter is pretty easy to make but when making it on the stove top it requires some attention and so the slow cooker is a great alternative as you can place the apples into the slow cooker and let them go, unattended! You just cook the apples in the slow cooker until tender, puree them and then crank up the heat, remove the lid from the slow cooker and cook until the apple sauce has reduced to a nice thick ‘butter’. This intensity of the apple flavour in the apple butter also makes it perfect for adding apple flavour to other recipes including quick breads, cookies, soups, etc.
With the holiday season here, this apple butter makes for a great homemade gift! (And you certainly don’t need to mention how easy it is to make!)
Feel free to skip reducing from a sauce to a butter and enjoy a really nice homemade apple sauce!
Slow Cooker Apple Butter
A thick and intense apple flavoured ‘butter’ with cinnamon spice!
- 3 pounds apples, peeled and cored
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Mix everything, place in a slow cooker and cook, covered, until the apples are nice and tender, about 6-10 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high.
- Puree the apples with a blender or food processor.
- Cook in the slow cooker on high, without the lid, until the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency, about 2-3 hours.
Maria Lichty says
I can think of so many things to spread this delicious apple butter on!
This looks awesome, I am going to make this as gifts. Can you tell me what apple works best?
Unknown: Any apple works; I like macintosh or honey crisp.
Lynn Davis says
I am single and don’t eat jelly very often. How can I store it? Can it be frozen?
Love your recipes!
If you are not going to use it all quickly, store it in the freezer. Enjoy!
Heather Christo says
This looks incredible! I want it on everything!
Michal Phillips says
Hi Kevin, I made this tonight. I used Granny Smith. I also added juice from half a Meyer lemon and omitted the nutmeg. It is sooooo delish!
We Are Not Martha says
I feel like I really need to make my own apple butter this winter. This looks and sounds delicious!
Alma Vorrei says
This recipe is absolutely excellent. First time I've made this recipe and it turned out perfect. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants great apple butter. It makes a lot.
How long does this last? I expect I'd give some away, but it would still likely last me quite some time…
Diane G says
I’ve frozen mine for over 6 months. Each container was as good as the first.
Elizabeth: You can keep this in the fridge for a week or two, or in the freezer for longer. You can also use proper canning process to keep it longer. Enjoy!
What would the canning steps be?
Sara–you can apple butter pretty much the same way you can applesauce. Process jars for 10 minutes in a water bath canner. The time is the same in a pressure canner, but you increase the pressure at higher altitudes.
Molly Shores says
Mine turned out good but it wasn’t nearly as dark as the picture on here. Did I do something wrong? It looks too light
Gene Matson says
I think the color is determined by whether you use light or dark brown sugar. Both should taste the same. Hope this helps.
Molly Shores: The lighter colour is perfectly fine! I'm glad you like it!
Brigitte Grov says
Hi! Are the 3 pounds of apples after they are peeled and cored?
Yes they are! Enjoy!
This looks delicious, thanks for sharing! I don’t have a food scale- approximately how many apples are in 3 pounds?
I usually just grab a 3lb bag of apples; about 6-7 small apples or 5-6 medium or 3-4 large apples. Enjoy!
When it comes to apple butter (or really, ANY fruit butter; I do apple, pear, peach and cherry, and occasionally pumpkin), the slow cooker is the ONLY way to go. Don’t bother with the stove; you’ll just burn it.
rm johnson says
Made exactly as given. Kind of blah. Added a 1 T. of lemon juice, 1/8 tsp of cloves and 1/8 tsp allspice to knock it up a notch.
I’m sure the type of apples would have a tremendous effect on outcome. Nice starting point recipe for the apples in my yard.
Christina Marraccini says
Ive seen a lot of apple butter recipes call for lemon juice in some form or fashion. As I hear this takes away the bitter taste. Is this the same for this recipe? Especially for canning? Do I need to add lemon juice to this in any way? Thanks so much!
I do not add lemon and I do not get a bitter taste. I like to use sweeter apples like macintosh and I remove the seeds and skins; the next batch I make I will have to try with a tarter apple like a granny smith and see if that comes out bitter. I also do not can (as my place is too small to store large quantities of preserves) and I would recommend looking up proper canning procedures to see if adding lemon is required for canning. As for adding lemon, a hint of fresh brightness from lemon would be a nice addition to apple butter! Test the sweetness vs tartness and adjust the amount of sugar added.
Hi Kevin, long time. I hope you’re well.
How do I make this on the stove. I don’t have a slow cooker? thank you.
Step 1 will take about an hour and step 3 will take 1-2 hours on stove top. Enjoy!
What bread is it served on in the picture?
The bread is Stonemill Cranberry Pumpkin Seed
Thank you for the wonderful recipe, Kevin. I had forgotten about this favorite treat so went to the store & bought a bag of honey crisp and started peeling and coring. I mistakenly added regular sugar by mistake so added about 4 more apples and then added dark brown sugar. Didn’t have allspice, so just added a little more cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground cloves. It smells so good!!