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This easy crockpot apple butter recipe will be one of your fall favorites! Autumn spices and apples simmer in the crockpot all day and makes your home smell fantastic! This easy recipe is perfect on toast or biscuits, for canning, or for gift gifting! Can also be made in a pressure cooker! Included are instructions for a slow cooker, Instant Pot or prepared on the stove top. In case you are gifting a jar of apple butter, grab some FREE printables to make it even easier to make a sweet gift!
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—Want the recipe right now and don't want to read all the hints and tips about making crockpot apple butter in the slow cooker, pressure cooker or on the stovetop? No problem! Simply scroll straight to the bottom!—
How To Make The Easiest Crockpot Apple Butter:
I love Apple Butter in the fall. It’s one of my favorites. I can eat it on my morning toast, my kiddos eat it for lunch (peanut butter & apple butter for the win!), and we’ve even put it on vanilla ice cream. I grew up not far from Amish country, in the midwest and can remember crocks of this delicacy residing in our fridge.
I look forward to making a big batch in my crockpot several times over the autumn season. It makes your house smell oh so good! This is the easiest slow cooker recipe imaginable. I tweaked the recipe from one passed to me by a sweet friend. She passed away last year from cancer, so it is bittersweet to make it, as it made me think lots about her and her friendship.
I originally published this post in 2014, and since then we've added pressure cookers to our kitchen. I don't know what I did without them! Although I love slow cooker apple butter, apple butter made in a pressure cooker is just as tasty!
This apple butter is really thick and flavorful, so a little goes a long way. I usually make a huge batch, and divide it into containers for either freezing it or passing it on to friends. The day after I made this batch I experienced something I never had before. I lost my vision.
In a split second everything became very very very blurry, especially in one eye. The eye doctor said he would see me immediately and I reached out to a neighbor who was at my door less than 5 minutes later to drive me.
I really value her friendship. We’ve shared smore’s in the summer, traded cookies at Christmas, hung out at school functions and so on. But nothing says true friend and awesome person like coming through with help during an emergency.
She drove me to the Dr where I learned it was only temporary (Thank God!) and was called an “Optical migraine”. Who would have thought. She picked my boys up from school and came back to get me after my appointment. What a trooper.
Now years later, I realize it was the start of my health problems where I discovered I had chiari malformation. I talked about my chiari experience just about one year later.
I knew I wanted to show my appreciation and I thought of the batch of apple butter I had just made. So I made some cute printables that I quickly attached and the boys were off to present the gift.
Handmade and homemade goes a long way in showing appreciation, doesn’t it? I can’t thank her enough for helping me, but I hope I made her day just a little bit sweeter.
Today, I’m sharing both the recipe and the printables so you can thank those special people in your life!
Leave as a circle or cut out the flower shape. Use twine for a rustic look and enjoy seeing those smiles from your lucky recipients!
HOW TO MAKE APPLE BUTTER!
Apple butter is a stepped up version of applesauce. It includes the addition of more spices. It also thickens up to a jelly like consistancy. You can make apple butter on the stovetop, in a crockpot, or in a pressure cooker. Whatever you have available is fine! It requires cooking the apples first, to soften them. Once softened, you will mash the apples down, and then add the spices in.
You can make your homemade apple butter either chunky or smooth. Maybe it was a midwest thing, but I remember many times having the chunky version. It's not hard chunky like peanut butter, it simply has more "chunks" or bigger pieces of apples in it. If you like yours silky smooth, that is no problem. You can either puree it in a blender, food processor or with a handheld immersion blender.
If you are cooking on the stove top, you'll want a large pot to hold all those apples in! I love to use my Le Crueset dutch oven. I swear it is such a workhorse! I cook on a low heat, just as you would do with applesauce. Once the apples have broken down, I use a handheld potato masher to break them down even further. I then add the spices and allow to simmer on the stovetop until it's nice and thick.
I don't make it on the stovetop very often because I think that requires me to keep more of an eye on it, and more mixing. My favorite method is using my slow cooker. Since I've figured out the knack to making homemade apple butter in a pressure cooker, using my Instant Pot is becoming my new favorite method! I've included all 3 methods in the recipe card down below!
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE HOMEMADE APPLE BUTTER?
INGREDIENTS FOR HOMEMADE APPLE BUTTER:
- 6 pounds apples (usually (2) 3 lb bags)
- apple juice
- brown sugar
- white sugar
- ground cloves
HOW LONG DOES APPLE BUTTER LAST?
Properly canned, a sealed jar of apple butter can last a year on the shelf. For an opened container I don't like to keep it past 2 weeks. I know preserved jellies can last a while, but I'm paranoid. Well to be honest, a batch barely lasts a week around here. Properly stored, apple butter can stay frozen for 6 months to a year. The good news with this is that freezing doesn't affect the flavor!
WHAT ARE THE BEST APPLES TO USE FOR HOMEMADE APPLE BUTTER?
The best apples are slightly tart, and breakdown easily when cooked. You can mix and match apples- I usually do what is in season and on sale.
- Pink Ladies
WHAT CAN I PUT APPLE BUTTER ON?
You can use apple butter for so many things!
- on bread slices with or without cream cheese or cottage cheese
- on cinnamon raisin bread for a fun twist
- mixed in with your morning oatmeal
- peanut butter and apple butter sandwiches, almond butter is good too!
- mixed with whipped cream to top desserts
- on top of vanilla ice cream
- on top of scones
- served on top of pork chops, turkey or chicken! Try mixing it with a bit of raisins, vinegar and onions!
GRAB YOUR FREE PRINTABLES FOR GIFTING HOMEMADE APPLE BUTTER HERE:
Looking for more fall ideas? If you're in an apple mood, these caramelized apple crepes are sure to please! Also perfect for fall is the recipe for cranberry apple ginger pancakes! I'm partial to these fabulous drinks for fall, but you can always search "fall" in the search box found in the upper right hand corner: You might check out these:
Mini Pumpkin Custard Gingerbread Tarts
Want to see what other recipes I’m working on, things I’m crafting, decor items I’m finding or what my family is up to? Be sure to follow me on social media!
HOMEMADE APPLE BUTTER RECIPE FOR SLOW COOKER, INSTANT POT, OR STOVETOP METHOD:
Homemade apple butter in the Crockpot, Instant Pot or on the stovetop!
- 6 pounds apples (usually 2 bags)
- ¼-1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
To make homemade apple butter in the slow cooker:
- Remove skin from apples. This is the most time intensive part! Cut flesh into ½ inch cubes. (I usually try to fill my crockpot half full, so 2 large bags of apples).
- Place in slow cooker with ¼-1/2 cup apple juice (the more apples, the more juice)
- Cook on high, covered, for 4 hours
- After apples are nice and soft, mash with a potato masher. If you want it lumpier, leave lumps, if you want it more smooth-mash more
- add ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of each: nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Stir really well to combine. Let cook, UNCOVERED, for 2-4 hours, stirring throughout. The apple butter will become nice and dark. Enjoy!
To make homemade apple butter in the Instant Pot:
- Peel and dice the apples into ½ inch cubes. Place in pressure cooker.
- Add the apple juice or cider - this works as the liquid which will allow the pressure cooker to come to pressure.
- Set pressure cooker to the high setting, with a time of 10 minutes
- Allow to come to pressure. Once done, do a slow natural release. Once the pressure is gone, remove the lid and stir in the spice mixture.
- Change pressure cooker to the saute setting and allow to cook down, stirring often for about 5-8 minutes. It will get nice and dark, and thicken up!
homemade apple butter on the stove top:
- Peel and cube the apple pieces as instructed above. Place apple pieces and juice or cider in a large saucepan, such as a dutch oven.
- Allow to come to a boil, and then switch to simmer. Cook until the apples are soft.
- Mash the apples as you would if you were making mashed potatoes. Then stir in the spices
- Continue to simmer on a low heat, stirring every so often until dark and thick- about 8 hours.