All Day Apple Butter

An important requirement of fall is apple picking. When I was younger my mom and I would take multiple trips to the apple orchard to stock up on apples in the fall. It’s a tradition that I’ve enjoyed continuing throughout the years.

There are SO many things you can do with apples when it comes to baking. If you need a little inspiration, check out my Caramel Apple BarsCountry Apple Galette, and Apple Tarte Tatin!

My love of apples aside, this post is also about canning. Can you believe that it took me almost 30 years to try my hand at canning?! If you are truly dedicated to getting the canning process right, it will require a little research and reading before you head into the kitchen. I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with my dad, who I consider to be a seasoned expert in the art of canning. I’d also recommend the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving as wonderful guide and instruction manual. I’m going to save some of my canning tips and tricks for another post, and today I’ll share my amazing apple butter recipe with you.

Did you know that apple butter actually has NO butter?! I was somewhat surprised when I first discovered this. Apple butter gets its name because you basically cook apples down to the consistency of butter so your sauce is spreadable. Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce produced by slow cooking of apples to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown. All you need are apples, sugar, and some spices. It doesn’t get any simpler. I really like this recipe because you cook the apples in a crock pot for an entire day which means that your home will smell simply divine.


All Day Apple Butter Recipe
Makes approximately 8 half pint jars

Ingredients
5 1/2 pounds apples – peeled, cored, and finely chopped
3 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions
Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples in the slow cooker and mix well. Cover and cook on high 1 hour.

Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown. Uncover and continue cooking on low 1 hour. Stir with a whisk, if desired, to increase smoothness.

Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate or freeze.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
If you want to ensure your apple butter is free of lumps, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce before the final hour of cooking. I tried this and was very pleased with the smooth and creamy texture that resulted.

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17 thoughts on “All Day Apple Butter

  1. Fall is full of such fresh scents of which the smell of apples is near the top of my favorite. As I write, dad is in the kitchen making an apple pie and I have cut up a MN. Honey Crisp apple to munch on. Your apple butter sounds like a good thing to make on a chilly day when you can be home smelling it for hours. One could always put two pots of apples on the stove and after a few hours take one off for apple sauce (it can be frozen easily in baggies) while the other pot continues on the way to apple butter.

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    • You’re absolutely right, applesauce is just a shorter version of apple butter. You could easily make both at the same time! The scents and flavors of Fall are my favorite, and nothing beats apples cooking. I can’t wait to hear how the apple pie turns out!

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  2. You taught me something today Heather, I always thought that ‘Apple Butter’ had butter in it! Now I know :-) Apples are so versatile. I never tried my hand at canning, although I always longed for a larder full of homemade canned fruit and jams. I’ve made the odd jar of marmalade and even chutney once, but that was it. You inspire me to give it a try…maybe after I finish my book, ha! Delicious recipe and love your photo as always :-)

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    • I was truly surprised the first time that I saw a recipe for apple “butter”! It’s kind of a fun healthier alternative to actual butter, which I will admit that I love to lather on a warm piece of toast. Chutney is one item on my list of things that I want to try making. I love it as a condiment but I’ve never actually tried a homemade version. Happy Thursday to you Sherri. I hope that all is well with you and that you’re enjoying writing your memoir!

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      • I admit too to loving butter on toast nothing like it is there? ;-) But your apple butter really does sound delicious. I made the chutney when I was at school, that’s how long ago. I seem to remember it took me ages and the kitchen was filled with steam and the smell of onions for days! Maybe that’s why I never tried it again. You would make it in a much more professional way :-) Thanks so much Heather, so kind of you. I am ploughing away, enjoying it, gritting me teeth at times though! Happy Thursday to you…and a wonderful weekend ahead!

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