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Homemade Apple Butter

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Homemade apple butter recipe spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves is full of delicious fall flavor. It’s super easy to make in the slow cooker or crockpot.

high angled view of apple butter in glass jar with apple and jar of apple butter behind it

Homemade apple butter is something you must have in the Fall – it goes good on any sort of bread.

The great thing is you can use essentially any apple variety you desire. Or combine a couple of different varieties to add depth to the flavor.

While it’s popular during the Fall months, it’s near impossible to find in a store. This is why people end up making it at home.

Good thing it’s super easy to make! And the result is a delicious apple spread that tastes so much better than anything you’d buy at the store.

It can be used as a spread for English muffins, scones, and even biscuits. It’s also great as an ingredient in baked goods or as a condiment.

But what is apple butter? It’s like apple sauce but much more concentrated. The difference is the apples are pureed and cooked for a longer period of time. This long cook time reduces the moisture and caramelizes the puree leaving behind a flavorful, smooth spread.

spoon dipping apple butter out of jar

Ingredients

  • Apples: You need about six pounds of apples for this recipe.
  • Spices: The spices I like to use are pure vanilla extract, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.

What are the best apples to use?

Softer apple varieties work best because they cook down the fastest but you can use any variety you prefer. I like to use Fuji or Golden Delicious apples as I prefer the taste of these.

Do keep in mind that sweeter apples like Gala will yield a sweeter butter and may require less sugar. While Granny Smith apples offer a tart flavor.

You could also mix a couple of varieties together if you desire a more complex flavor profile.


How to make apple butter

The easiest way to make apple butter is by using the slow cooker or crockpot. Simply combine all the ingredients together and cook on high until the apples are so soft they begin to fall apart. This can take a few hours.

sliced apples in a slow cooker next to sliced apples with spices in a slow cooker

Use an immersion blender to puree the apples until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender instead. But, you’ll want to do this in two batches to avoid backsplash. And take extra care when transferring the hot apples to the blender.

cooked apples and spices in a slow cooker next to pureed apple butter in a slow cooker

Return the smooth puree to the slow cooker and continue to cook on high for a few more hours. You want to reduce the mixture. It should be thick and very concentrated.

I like mine to be very thick but this is a personal preference. Adjust the timing for a slightly thinner or thicker apple butter.

ⓘ Make it thicker! If you prefer an extra thick apple butter, simmer it on the stovetop for the second round of cooking. This will cause more of the water content to evaporate and create a thicker consistency. Make sure to stir it occasionally while it’s simmering.


How to store apple butter

Store apple butter in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks. I personally like to store it in these mini tulip jelly jars.

It can also be frozen for up to two months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

jars of apple butter with three apples and spoons nearby

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high angled view of apple butter in glass jar with apple and jar of apple butter behind it

Apple Butter

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 10 minutes

Flavorful apple butter made in a slow cooker that can be used a spread or in your favorite fall recipes.

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped - SEE NOTE 1
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (210 g) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Add the apples, vanilla, both sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt to a slow cooker. Stir well to fully coat the apples.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours, stirring every hour until the apples are soft.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until smooth. (Alternatively, you can carefully transfer the apple mixture to a blender and blend on high speed until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Do this in two batches to avoid backsplash from the blender.)
  4. Cook on high for 4-8 more hours until thickened. Stir every 30 minutes.
  5. Allow the apple butter to cool to room temperature then spoon the mixture into sterile containers and cover tightly. Refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze.

Notes

  1. I used Fuji apples for this recipe. Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Honey Crisp Apples also work well.
  2. You may need to adjust the sugar depending on the sweetness of your apples. A tart apple such a Granny Smith may require more sugar.
  3. For a thick apple butter texture, you may wish to cook it on the stove during the second stage of cooking. Place the pureed apples in a large saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 hours, until thickened. Stir frequenty to prevent a skin from forming on the bottom of the pot.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 19mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 21gProtein: 0g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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