This weekend we had two days of the most Fall-like and lovely weather so far this season. It was the first time I felt like bundling up with a cup of hot tea, a pair of socks and actually thinking about the upcoming holidays. It was also the kind of weekend perfect for making easy Slow-Cooker Apple Butter.
When I was little I wasn’t much of an apple butter fan. It took years for me to find out that there wasn’t butter in apple butter and that it was actually delicious. Confusing to a kid, I assure you!
With the help of a crock-pot, all the cooking, stirring and standing over a hot stove is completely non-existent! It’s as easy as this: Six pounds of apples get pealed and cored, sliced and cooked slowly all night long in a crock-pot filled with sugar, spice and everything nice. In the morning the entire house smells like slow cooked spiced apple goodness!
Puree, and cook some more, before cooling and spreading all over crispy buttered English muffins or toast. Thank goodness for cool fall days without which we might never make apple butter. Now who’s ready for breakfast?
photos by Leah Bergman
- 6½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used a combination of Granny Smith, Fuji and Honeycrisp)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Place apples in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Sprinkle over the apples and stir gently to combine. Cook on low for 10 hours.
- Stir in vanilla extract, breaking up any large chunks of apples that remain. Cover and cook for an additional 2 hours.
- Remove cover and use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until completely smooth. (Alternately, you could puree in batches in a food processor or regular blender.)
- Cook for an additional 1-2 hours with the lid ajar until apple butter thickens and does not separate when cooled on a spoon.
- Allow the mixture to cool, then spoon into jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.
- Tip: To test if apple butter is done cooking, scoop out a small spoonful onto a plate. If the apple butter begins to separate (liquid runs from the solids) then it needs more time to cook.