This smooth, velvety homemade Apple Butter is made using simple ingredients of apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and lemon juice, cooked low and slow resulting in a spreadable treat to use in or on many of your fall recipes!
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Easy Apple Butter Recipe
We always have jars of our own apple butter on hand around this time of year. I mean, pumpkin butter is amazing and a staple around here too, but I always seem to have a ton of apples to use up if we go apple picking at our local apple orchard. What better way than this easy recipe?! It’s the best!
There’s a intense flavor combination of sweetness with notes of underlying cinnamon that is pure magic and the rich apple flavor gives us all the warm cozy vibes of the fall season.
It’s easy to make and because it’s a delightfully smooth spread, it can be used on basically anything. Just like butter!
What is Apple Butter?
It’s a thicker, more concentrated version of the classic applesauce. Sort of like what apple cider is to apple juice.
It’s made by cooking down apple purée low and slow over a few hours. The caramelization turns the butter to its distinct signature dark brown color and the length of cooking time gives it a beautiful concentrated flavor.
There is no dairy in it, therefor there’s no actual butter involved, but it’s smooth, thick, and spreadable like butter, hence, the name!
Ways to Use Apple Butter
You can use it as you would butter, but some might say use it like a jam.
Spread it on toast, slather it on apple scones, in crepes, on pancakes, waffles, or on a slice of apple bread or a toasted english muffin. You can swirl it into your morning yogurt and oatmeal or your scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Trust me, making a big batch is never a bad idea!
- Granny smith apples: Peeled, cored, and diced. This easy crock pot recipe is a great way to use up your fresh apples or the apples you had all the good intentions for that are just sitting on your counter!
- Light brown sugar: For the sweetness and to help caramelize and flavor the apples.
- Water: Used to purée the apples in a blender before adding them to the slow cooker.
- Lemon juice: Brightens up the sauce, while adding a bit of tartness. The citrus also helps to break down the apples.
- Cinnamon: A warm spice that always pairs well with apples!
1: Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to enhance the warm flavors even more.
2: Use half brown sugar and half white sugar if you prefer.
3: You can swap the sugar with maple syrup or honey if you aren’t wanting any refined sugars.
4: Toss in some nutmeg or cloves along with the cinnamon for a deeper spiced flavor.
How to Make this Slow Cooker Apple Butter
This recipe will come together in just a few simple steps. First, you blend, then you set it and forget it. It takes some time to cook down, but it’s well worth it.
Step 1: Place apples and water in a blender or food processor. You can either add the brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon with it or add them to the crock pot later.
Step 2: Blend on high until completely smooth.
Step 3: Pour the apple mixture into the slow cooker. If you blended the apples on their own, now you’ll want to add in remaining ingredients like sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
Step 4: Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Step 5: The apples will cook down and thicken, and become nice and dark. Stir every couple of hours so the bottom doesn’t burn.
Once it’s ready, pour it into mason jars but leave the lid off until completely cooled. Wrap a little bow around it and label it as adorable holiday gifts for friends and neighbors!
- Use different kind of apples you have on hand. Yes, even the ones that don’t look so fresh! Macintosh, Courtland, Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji apples are great choices. Use a combination of a sweet apples and tart apples, if preferred.
- Peeling the apples is optional. I like peeling the apples first to get the butter as smooth as possible, but it’s up to you. If you have a really good high-speed blender that will help to get rid of the grittiness. Plus, with the time it takes to cook everything down and soften the apples, you’ll no longer feel the apple skin.
- You can save the blending until after everything has finished cooking. You can chop the apples and toss everything into the crock pot first. Cook, then blend. An immersion blender or food mill works great for this.
- Every type of apple has a different amount of water in them, so depending on the type you use, that will determine the amount of cook time it takes to reach your desired consistency.
Keep it stored in an airtight container. I like to use mason jars, just like I would use for jam. It should be ok at room temperature for a day or so, but I recommend putting it in the fridge right away. It will stay fresh for up to a couple of weeks.
It won’t last that long though, you’ll be finding it hard to resist diving in for a spoonful every so often!
You can! Freeze it in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then warm it up in the microwave, the stovetop, or the slow cooker.
Yes, you can. You could follow the same directions, however, cook on medium-low heat in a large pot on the stove for 1-2 hours.
Homemade Apple Butter
- 3 pounds Granny smith apples peeled, cored, and diced
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice ½ a lemon
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Place the diced apples, water, and lemon juice in a blender.3 pounds Granny smith apples, ½ cup light brown sugar, ⅓ cup water, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth.
- Pour the pureed apple mixture to a slow cooker and add the brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the it is dark brown. Stir the apple butter every hour or two so that is doesn't burn on the bottom.