For the longest time ever, I didn’t know apple butter didn’t actually involve “butter”. Why couldn’t they call it something like “apple jam” or “apple spread”?
But then again, peanut butter doesn’t involve “butter” either, and I don’t hear people calling it “peanut spread”…
BUT! They do call the popular Nutella a “hazelnut spread”, not a “hazelnut butter”, even though its consistency is just like peanut butter..
So what qualifies a condiment as a “butter”? Is it its consistency? Like it’s so smooth it spreads just like butter? Or is it just the way people are used to calling it? Maybe I’ll start a new trend and call my apple butter an apple “spread” instead.
So anyway. I’ve been wanting to make Crockpot apple butter for years now, and I’m so glad I finally did! It’s soooooo easy and so ridiculously delicious that I can’t believe it took me so long to try it! I used a mixture of Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith apples for my apple butter. The Fuji and Honeycrisp apples are sweet, and the Granny Smiths give it a hint of tangy tartness that wonderfully balances out the sweetness of the sugar and apples.
The best part about all this is that you throw all your ingredients in a Crockpot and let it slowly cook overnight, and you’ll wake up to the delicious mouth-watering smell of cinnamon apples. Add a splash of vanilla extract, break up any large pieces with a wooden spoon, and let it cook another 1-2 hours the next morning as you slowly sip on your coffee and read the morning newspaper.
If you own an immersion blender, this would be a good time to use that nifty gadget. If you’re like me and don’t own one of those cool gadgets, then simply puree the apple mixture in a blender in batches (I filled my blender about half full and only had to puree two batches of it).
If you’re satisfied with the consistency of your apple butter, then simply let it cool completely prior to transferring them into jars. I personally prefer a thicker apple butter, so if you’re like me, then place the pureed apple butter back into the Crockpot with the lid ajar and cook on low for another hour or two, or until it has reached your desired consistency.
If you know how to can things, can this baby up and save it for the dead of winter when you’re craving a taste of fall. Otherwise place it in the fridge and spread it on toast, on an English muffin, on crackers, or just eat it with a spoon.
Or if you’re feeling generous, give away a few jars to friends and family – they’ll love you forever.
- 3-3.5 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (about 7-8 apples; I used a combination of Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- A pinch of salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Place apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt. Sprinkle over the apples and stir it around until the apples are generously coated with the sugar mixture. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours overnight.
- The next morning, add in the vanilla extract. Stir the mixture around, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon. Cover and cook for another 2 hours.
- In batches, pour the mixture into a blender and puree until smooth (this would be a time where an immersion blender would come in handy). For a thicker consistency, continue to cook the pureed apple butter on low with the slow cooker cover ajar for another hour, or until it's to the consistency of your liking.
- Let cool completely and transfer into jars. Refrigerate apple butter for up to 2 weeks.
- Makes about 1.5 pints
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