Easy Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Enjoy the goodness of orchard fresh apples all year round by preserving them in form of this slow cooker apple butter. Just 5 ingredients dumped together and left alone for the slow cooker to work it’s magic.
It is apple season, friends! Or is the apple season almost over? I have completely lost track of seasonality of things in the past few crazy weeks we have had. But before all the Indian festivals began we got a chance to go visit Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska as a family. And at the farm, we went apple picking….E I E I O. You know the song …now sing it with me..ha ha. Or not! Even if you love the “on the farm” song or not I am sure you will appreciate this slow cooker apple butter recipe. Does not get easier than this, ladies and gents!Jump to Recipe
After trying my hand at Blackberry Jam (here’s the recipe) earlier this summer, I thought of trying my hand at this slow cooker apple butter. This slow cooker apple butter is a great way to enjoy the goodness of fresh, orchard picked apples for a longer period of time.
Arbor Day Farm is really a neat place to visit as a family. There is a little bit of everything to do for everyone. They have recently opened a tree house adventure which was a lot of fun. We learnt about the history of the farm, the family who started the orchards, their mission to encourage people to plant more trees and lot of other neat things.
They have old fashioned stores on their property where you can buy apples (duh), fresh apple cider, apple pies (have you seen this apple slab pie recipe) and even taste some local wines. So, basically there is nothing that you will not like.
Harners’ Apple Butter
The idea and inspiration behind this apple butter came from one of our colleague family. They have an annual tradition in there family where they pick a beautiful fall morning and start working towards making their annual stash of apple butter way before sunrise. They cook it low and slow in a shiny pot over many many hours stirring continuously using a long wooden paddle that almost looks like an oar of a boat. Needless to say that such a long and slow process becomes more of a community effort rather than a family effort and we are so happy to be a part of their “Apple butter community”.
Dr. A is a sucker for the apple butter that our colleague and his family make. We bring a pint size jar from their home which Dr. A judiciously enjoys over a month or so. But that’s pretty much it and then 11 months are spent reminiscing about that taste. So when we found out about apple picking at Arbor Day Farm, Dr. A was super pumped about it. Apple Butter was already brewing in his mind. I knew it!!
To our utter surprise (and pleasure) the apples available for picking that day including Jonathan apples, which happens to be the variety that our friends use for their apple butter. BINGO!! Armed with the mental notes that I had made over the years on this apple butter recipe, we set on a mission. Our best bet was to go the slow cooker route to somewhat achieve the slow cooked flavor and consistency. I knew we had to add to have apples (I am smart like that!), sugar, cinnamon, and clove. I love nutmeg so thought I will throw in that too.
I was able to note down the exact amount of sugar that we ended up adding because I feel that is crucial to this recipe. Several hours after a combination of covered and without the lid cooking, we ended up with perfect slow cooked apple butter. There is some stirring involved but do not loose your sleep over it. I cooked mine on low overnight. The cooking time on high towards the end of the recipe is where you want to pay a little bit attention so that the butter does not scald or burn, so intermittent stirring is highly recommended. Deep flavors, dark amber color, thick, buttery consistency..so good. Dip the shoe strings in this slow cooker apple butter and take a bite. Get ready to break into a yumminess dance.
Here is your handy dandy printable
Slow Cooker Apple Butter
- 10 lbs Apples peeled, cored and sliced, we used a apple peeler for this – see in tools used below. Use a tart variety
- 7.5-8 cups Sugar
- 4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg optional
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg (if using) and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples in the slow cooker and mix well. You might have to slowly add the apples as they cook down (depending on the size of your slow cooker or crockpot).
It took me nearly 30 minutes to add all the apples.
Cover and cook on high 2 hours.
Turn the slow cooker to low and cook 12 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
After 12 hours, take the lid off and continue cooking on low another 2 hours.
Stir with a whisk to smooth the apple butter.
To check if the butter is ready, take about a teaspoon of butter in a plate and tilt the plate. If no juice “bleeds” from the butter, it is ready. If it does, cook longer.
Let the butter cool, and then store/can in clean, sterile jars. Cover and store in refrigerate or freeze.
Love – Vaishali