Like magic your slow cooker or Instant Pot will turn a bounty of apples into a smooth, deeply colorful and flavorful spread with this recipe for crock pot apple butter. So let’s head to the orchard and get apple picking!
Making your own jams, jellies, fruit butters or marmalade does not get any easier than this simple method of making apple butter. It is so easy that it barely counts as making-your-own—the crock pot does all of the work! Yes, a slow cooker or Instant Pot works well too.
Spices to use in apple butter
Apples plus sugar plus a few spices combined with the wonder of slow cooking gives you a beautiful and deeply flavored apple butter. This apple butter recipe should be labeled as Preserving 101; it is wonderfully straightforward and easy to repeat each season.
Spices like cinnamon are obvious choices to use in making small batch apple butter.
Other good options from your spice rack include warm spices like nutmeg and cloves.
What apples are best for apple butter?
It’s always a baker’s question: which apples are best for which recipe? Well, the easy answer is to make this crock pot apple butter with apples you like to eat. It’s like wine– who cares which wines are supposed to pair with particular foods, just drink what you enjoy.
In this batch of crock pot apple butter are honey crisp apples and granny smith apples. A great balance of sweet and tart.
What’s the best way to peel apples?
Peel your apples any which way you like, but when a recipe calls for a peeled apple, I often turn to this gadget– the apple peeler-corer. Clean up is a little bit of a hassle but well worth it considering how quick and efficient this simple machine is for the job of peeling and coring apples.
I use the apple peeler in this upside down apple cake recipe too. Love it!
Look how easily the peel separates from the fruit. Play around with the adjustable piece until you achieve the depth of peel that you desire.
See, easy as that! Apple peeler for the win!
Slow cooker magic
After your apples have cooked for six to eight hours you can choose the consistency you prefer for your apple butter. Gently stir the apple butter for a chunky texture or use an immersion blender to achieve a smoother texture.
Add a label to your jar of apple butter!
Did you know that I have a FREE Printables library? I love sharing labels that you can download and print yourself. When you are making jams, jellies, and marmalades, it is so nice to add a personal touch.
- 12 apples (any combination will do-- Granny Smith and Honeycrisp were used here)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from one lemon)
Start by preparing your apples. Wash, peel and slice them.
Fill your crock pot with the apple slices. Pour in the sugars and the lemon juice. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Toss gently to stir.
Now sit back and let the crock pot do its thing. Six to eight hours on low should be plenty of time.
Stir once or twice.
Puree the apple butter with an immersion blender if you would like a smooth consistency.
A slow cooker, a Crock Pot or an Instant Pot all work well for this recipe. If using the Pressure Cooker function on your Instant Pot, cook on high for 12 minutes.
If your apple butter is not as thick as you'd like it after 6 -8 hours in the crock pot, put it back on low for another hour and check again. Every crock pot cooks just a bit differently.
Serving Size:2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 76Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 0g
This data is provided by Nutritionix and is an estimate only.
More fruit butters and apple recipes
Once you catch the bug of making fruit butters you’ll find reason to repeat the process with many fruits. Here are a few I’ve enjoyed along with more apple recipes:
- Pear Butter
- Pumpkin Butter
- Gluten free apple crumble
- Spiced Apple-Pear Butter
- Cranberry Butter
- Apple Cake for Passover
- Maple Apple Crisp
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Canning at home and making small batch jams and curds have really become a source of enjoyment for me in the kitchen. If you are interested in making more homemade preserves, here is a canning resource to give more more recipe ideas!
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Please note that this post was originally published in September, 2012, and was updated with fresh photos and text in August, 2018.
Holly Baker started the food blog, A Baker’s House, in 2011. She is the writer, recipe creator, and photographer for the site. Holly loves to bake and shares recipes for gluten free food, canning recipes, as well as traditional desserts too. Her recipes and food photography have been highlighted by BuzzFeed, Reader’s Digest, and She Knows.