Easy Dump & Go Slow Cooker Apple Butter
I absolutely love apple butter. I have really fond memories of helping my mom make it every Fall when I was younger. We would usually make it using discounted bruised apples from a local farm along with leftover peels we would save when making pies/cobbler/crisp so they wouldn’t go to waste. It was an amazing way to use up scraps.
If you’ve never had apple butter before, I’d describe it as: apple pie filling, but smooth and spreadable.
I think I first fell in love with apple butter at Huber’s Farm in Indiana. My family would visit there pretty regularly when I was a kid. Huber’s is one of those farms you can visit to take a hayride and pick your own fruit. They also have an old school farm store, ice cream parlor, winery, and a restaurant. The restaurant serves these unbelievably delicious fried biscuits. On the table they had these big squeeze bottles full of homemade apple butter that you could have with the biscuits. They were heavenly together.
This year I felt compelled to make some homemade apple butter to use in Fall recipes. And, of course, I’ll take any excuse to use my slow cooker.
This recipe I came up with is ridiculously simple to make. All you have to do is throw all of the ingredients into your crock-pot and let it cook for 10-12 hours. I started mine the evening before and then just let it cook until morning.
In the morning your house will smell incredible. You can then just turn the crock-pot off and allow it to cool a bit before blending it until smooth. Then you can either store it in the fridge, or you can can them in some mason jars. If you do decide to can them, they make awesome gifts for the holidays.
I’ll be sharing some recipes using this apple butter very soon. But, for now, onto the recipe. If you make this, be sure to take a pic and tag me on Instagram @Bitchy_Baker <3
Easy Dump & Go Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Yield: A little more than 2 pints
Time: 10.5 Hours
3 pounds apples, cored and roughly chopped (see note for recommendations on apple types)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional, but recommended)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add all ingredients into your crock-pot. Stir to evenly disperse the ingredients. Cook on low for 10-12 hours, or until the apples have broken down and become very mushy. I find it easiest to allow it to cook overnight.
Once it has finished cooking, use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Be very careful as it will be very hot.
Note: If you do not have an immersion blender, you can blend it in batches in a regular blender. Just be careful to only fill the blender about halfway, and be sure to vent the top to allow the heat to escape. I do not recommend using a cup-style blender unless the mixture has cooled completely.
Pour the apple butter into a clean jar or container. If not canning the apple butter, it should last about a month in the fridge. Alternately it should keep in the freezer for about six months. If canning the apple butter, it should last almost indefinitely. Just be sure to follow proper canning procedures.
I love using Honeycrisp apples for apple butter, I just love their flavor. They do take longer to cook down, though, just due to their firmness. I would also recommend Gala, Kiku, Pink Lady, or Braeburn apples. However, pretty much any apple will work, so use whatever is available. I highly recommend checking out any local farms or stores near you that will sell you bruised fruit. You can usually buy it for super cheap, and it works great for apple butter. Just trim away any really bad bits. Also, if you have a local grocery store that sells bruised/mishapen produce, you can usually purchase bags of bruised apples for a ridiculously low price.
I don’t recommend cooking the apple butter on high as this will likely cause the sugars to caramelize too quickly and potentially burn. Low and slow is the way to go.
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