Apple Butter Recipe Your Grandma Would Be Proud Of

old-fashioned-apple-butter-recipe

I wasn’t expecting such a buzz last week when I mentioned on facebook that the crockpot of apple butter was making my house smell amazing.  But suddenly people were commenting, and emailing, and begging for the recipe.  So I promised to post it ASAP, and here it is!  I do have to say this is REALLY good apple butter.  I’ve given it as gifts and had people chase me down in church to ask how I made it.  In fact, if I were that type of person I might boastingly call this the best apple butter recipe ever!  But really, there are two secrets to this apple butter, and I promise to share both of them with you.

Peeling, Coring and Slicing Apples

The first secret is that I don’t use applesauce to make it, I use fresh apples.  It’s common to use homemade or store bought apple sauce to make apple butter, but the first time I wanted to make it, I just had lots and lots of apples.  Fortunately, I also had a very handy apple peeler/corer/slicer.  I bought it right around the time Eric and I got engaged when I found out how much he loves apple pie.  It makes apple pie, apple sauce, and apple butter A LOT faster to make.

Apples in Crockpot for Apple Butter

The second secret is that I cook it for up to 48 hours in a crockpot.  That’s right, two days of cooking.  But you can’t just put everything in and leave it alone for 48 hours.  You have to add apples as it cooks down.  It might sound involved, but really it’s only about five minutes of work 3 or 4 times.   Apple Butter is so simple to make!  Throughout the process, I say 10 hours since that’s the setting on the crockpot, but it’s not an exact science.  It’s okay if you want to add more apples sooner if it’s cooked down.  It’s also okay if you’re not home or asleep when it finishes as long as your crockpot has a warming setting, it can stay on the warm setting several hours.

Another cool thing about this apple butter is that it uses the peels of the apples.  When I’m making apple sauce or apple pie, something that I want just the apple flesh for, I’ll often make sure to make a batch of apple butter as well.  I put the extra peels in the crockpot and then get to feel really good about not wasting food. You don’t have to peel the apples for making apple butter, I just usually make it at the same time as making apple sauce so use my peeler/corer/slicer on 40 pounds of apples at a time and turn all the peels and whatever I don’t use for apple sauce into apple butter.

A friend asked me what you can use apple butter for other than spreading on bread.  I think you can use it in any recipe that calls for jam.  Like I mentioned in my rhubarb jam post, you can use it in cake layers, bakewell tarts, on shortcakes, I’d also use it in thumbprint or sandwich cookies. I put the word out on Twitter and my friend Jen said “My mom used to make muffins and “fill” them with a little dollop of jam.”  Love that idea!  How would you use this apple butter?

apple-butter-recipe

Homemade Apple Butter

makes 3-5 pints

Ingredients

25-30 apples (I prefer Fuji or Jonagold)
2-4 tsp cinnamon
1/4-1/2 tsp allspice
1/2-1 tsp ground cloves
2-4 cups sugar

Instructions

Core and slice apples, dumping the slices into the crockpot as you go.  Stop prepping apples when the crockpot is full (just save the remaining apples for later).

Add 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp cloves and 2 cups of sugar.  Mix well and put the crock pot on low for 10 hours.  Feel free to stir when you walk by! (NOTE: some people have had their countertops warped by crockpots, make sure yours in on a surface that can take the heat)

After 10 hours, core and slice more apples to fill the crockpot.  Dump the new apple slices into what’s already cooked down.  Mix well.  Cook another 10 hours on low.

Repeat the process of adding more apples, mix, set the crockpot for another 10 hours.

Taste test your apple butter and add more cinnamon, allspice, cloves and sugar to your taste.  I usually add the same amount I did the first time, although sometimes I only add one more cup of sugar, depends on how sweet the apples are.

After it’s gone a good 30-40 hours, use an immersion blender to puree it.  (You could probably put through food mill or blender too). Continue cooking until it’s the thickness that you want.  If it’s not cooking down enough vent the lid a little.  If it gets too thick, add some water or apple juice.

When it’s the consistency you want, can it using a *waterbath method.

Approximate cost/serving: I got 40lbs of apples for $15 from a local farm, that was over 100 apples!  It was only $3 for all the apples, and the total cost was about $3.40.  It made about 8 pints of apple butter, so only 43 cents a pint!  I know! Cheap!

Vegetarian/Gluten Free: Yes and yes!

*You can do a google search for waterbath canning to get lots of tips.  I don’t have any special tools for canning.  I use a big pot of water, rubber coated tongs to lift the jars (you can also just wrap some rubber bands around regular tongs), and a ladle to fill the jars.  Basically, fill your biggest, tallest pot with water and bring to a boil.  Place your empty jars and new lids (always use new, but can recycle rings) in the water for 5 minutes.  Take them out, fill with apple butter to 1/4 inch from the top.  Wipe the rims and place the lids on the jars.  Screw on the rings and place in the boiling water.  Boil them (this is processing) for 5-20 minutes using the chart below, making sure the water level covers the jars completely.  Remove and set on a counter, don’t move them for 24 hours!  Then press the center of the lid.  If it doesn’t pop in (meaning it already has), it’s sealed and good to store for up to two years.  If it does pop in, refrigerate it and use in a week.

Recommended process time for Apple Butter in a boiling-water canner.

Jar Size

Process Time at Altitudes of

0 – 1,000 ft

1,001 – 6,000 ft

Above 6,000 ft

Half-pints or Pints

5 min

10

15

Quarts

10

15

20

source of time chart: pickyourown.org


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128 Responses to “Apple Butter Recipe Your Grandma Would Be Proud Of”

  1. Tammy Gardner
    November 3, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    What size crockpot do you use?

    • diana
      November 4, 2009 at 7:45 pm #

      I have a 5.5 quart crockpot.

  2. Danielle
    November 4, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    oooh how I want to try this. I love apple butter and haven’t had it in years. I wonder if you could make a glaze or icing out of it for apple cake or muffins?

  3. Susie
    November 5, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    I bought one of those peeler thingies and it doesn’t work :( The part that goes into the core strips and then the apple won’t turn. Have you ever had that problem?

    • diana
      November 15, 2009 at 9:59 am #

      Susie, The only time I’ve had that problem with mine is if the apples are warm. I find the colder they are the easier they peel/core/slice. But I think it could also be a different brand? My friend has one that just plain doesn’t work. A good one will cost $25-30 when new, but I found it totally worth it.

    • Karin
      October 1, 2014 at 10:35 am #

      Susie….I found that the early apples, like Mc Intosh are softer and have to be used right away. any softness and they wont turn when trying to peel. Granny smith, a firmer apple seems to work all the time. Good Luck!

  4. ginnie
    November 15, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    Hey there, miss Diana. My friends and I went apple pickin’ in Ellijay, GA, and I made apple butter, too. I used raw honey instead of sugar and that worked out well. Would like to try my next batch using your crockpot (and apple peels) method. Used rome beauty apples. Thanks for the tips!

  5. ginnie
    November 15, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    Oh, and the apple peeler slicer thing ROCKS! :@)

    • diana
      November 15, 2009 at 9:55 am #

      Yes it does Miss Ginnie! I think I’d make a lot less apple items w/out it! Will have to try honey.

  6. Jessica
    November 16, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    I was wondering how much honey would I use in place of the sugar?

  7. ginnie
    November 16, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    The recipe I used called for 3 cups of sugar and I substituted 1 cup of raw honey. Hope that helps:) I’m gonna try Diana’s recipe this weekend (after I travel to North Georgia to get some fresh apples), so we’ll see how it goes. Can’t wait for 48 hours of yummy apple butter smell.

    • Nicole
      September 15, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      Did you can your honey sweetened apple butter? I’m wondering if honey will change the consistency when heated or refrigerated? Any tips?

  8. Rochelle Reed
    September 30, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    Hi Diana, this morning my Mom was talking about applebutter that her Grandmother used to make, so I did a search and found your recipe. I was thinking, since you use the blender to whiz all the applebutter together in the end, would it be ok to just slice the apples and put them in the crock w/o peeling… what would be the harm in that I wonder?

  9. Ellen
    October 11, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    I wonder if you could freeze the apple butter? I would love to try it but I know I’m not going to want to can the results, but would prefer to freeze. Thoughts?

  10. Ellen
    October 11, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Also, if I halved the recipe would it still need to cook for 30-40 hours, or just 15-20?

  11. diana
    October 20, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    You probably could use the apples with peels on. I do sometimes get little pieces of peel in my apple butter which I’m fine with, but if you’re not you might want to skip peels altogether. I just love that I’m getting more fiber and not wasting anything!

    I’m pretty sure it should freeze, just like jam. If you’re making a smaller batch don’t cook it as long! If you’re going to be out of the house, or leaving it overnight, you might even want to add a little water or apple juice to make sure it doesn’t cook down to much and burn. You can always offset the lid for an hour to let the steam escape and cook it down more afterward.

  12. Kandi
    November 1, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    Why do you peel the apples if everything goes in the crock to cook and then it all get’s pureed together? Is this really a necessay step?

  13. diana
    November 1, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    The main reason I peel my apples is that I have one of those handy dandy slicer, peeler, corer tools that preps one apple in 5 seconds flat. I will try a batch just coring and slicing apples by hand (for those of you who don’t have an apple prepper) to test out how not peeling them affects the consistancy and let you guys know!

    • Shawn
      August 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

      I make my apple butter the same way,except I don’t peel the apples. I core them and dump them in the crockpot. When the applesauce is done I use a food mill just to smooth it out, but there are rarely any peels left.

  14. Anna
    December 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    This sounds worth trying out. I never bought Apple Butter before, but my husband grabbed it one time while shopping and has used it.

    I’ve just canned my second time (pickles this time) and am really enjoying canning. It is fun to make something from scratch, know that you did it, know what’s in it, and there is something about homemade that makes it 10 times better. This sounds like a good one to try. I would probably have to half the recipe though. We probably don’t need that much. But like you said, good for gifts.

    We’ve been doing Bountiful Baskets (a co-op in the NorthWest United States) that we get fruits and veggies from a really good price. Sometimes they have 24 lb boxes of apples or other fruits/veggies you can buy. I’m collecting recipes that I can make with them since they are such a good deal.

  15. Barb
    December 20, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    I too don’t see why you’d peel the apples then put the peels in, what difference would it make? I also don’t core mine, since most of the pectin is in the core and peel. I just chop them, cook, then strain out the solids. What I have never done is cook so long and add more apples along the way, I’m trying that tonight/tomorrow/Wed, lol.

    This time I’m going to try a new recipe from Dec 10 BH&G, cut puff pastry into two inch squares, spread apple butter on each, and sprinkle with ceddar cheese. That sounds like an excellent appetizer or snack to me.

  16. Peggy
    January 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    Wow! What an amazing recipe!!! I made it for Christmas gifts and I received so many lovely comments and numerous request for your amazing recipe. What a hit! Thank you so much for sharing.

  17. Kate
    September 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    Hi,

    I tried this recipe this weekend and it’s absolutely wonderful! There’s definitely no need to peel the apples or even to strain them out at the end … it all cooks down and I pureed it with an immersion blender when it was done. Thanks so much for a super recipe! This is the best apple butter ever.

    • diana
      September 13, 2011 at 9:01 am #

      You are SO welcome Kate! I’m going to making LOTS more this year. I’m addicted to the stuff!

  18. lindsey
    September 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Do you add sugar every 10 hours?

    • diana
      September 13, 2011 at 9:24 am #

      Nope, I add some at the beginning with the first batch of apples and add the rest about halfway through cooking.

  19. Tanya
    September 17, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    Wow! This is fantastic apple butter! I tried this recipe out during the last two days canning applesauce with a friend and we were oohing and aahing over the result. We gleaned boxes full of windfall apples from a neighbor’s farm, so I’m going to make more batches as long as the apples hold out and share this yummy apple butter with everyone!

    I don’t have a peeler, so I simply used my little corer/slicer tool and threw the slices in with the peels on. I didn’t have a hand blender either, so I put it a few cups at a time into my regular blender on puree’ and it worked great. I substituted Rapadura sugar and a little raw honey to sweeten with great results.

    Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  20. Carri
    September 18, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    How much does this make? I’m going to make it for christmas gifts this year.

    • Tanya
      September 29, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      I made three batches in my large crockpot and it made 12-14 cups.

      • diana
        October 18, 2011 at 8:41 am #

        Thanks Tanya!

  21. Chrissie
    September 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    Hi, there! Sure wish I’d seen this recipe prior to starting my first-ever batch of apple butter!! It sounded so simple: 2 gallons of apple cider; boil down to 1/2; add 12 pounds of pared-sliced-cored apples; cook to fruit butter consistency. As I write this, it’s nearly 8 p.m., and I’ve had stupid apples cooking since 10 a.m. this morning! Wish anyone had bothered to mention that, oh, by the way – this is an all-day event!! :) Anyway, I did use one of the parer/corer/slicer things, which worked wonderfully. But, I DO have an immersion blender, and what a shame to waste all of that fiber! So, since I’ve now invested a dozen pounds of apples, and still have 23 pounds to find a practical use for (thanks to my very generous sister-in-law!), I think that the crock-pot method is the one I’ll be trying next!! Thanks so much for posting this!

    • diana
      September 29, 2011 at 7:34 am #

      Oh man Chrissie! Glad you’ve found the recipe :) You’re so welcome!!!

  22. Nancy Michaelson
    September 24, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    In your processing instructions don’t you have the sealing info backwards. You say if the lid does’t pop in it’s sealed – if it does pop in it isn’t sealed. Did I read that wrong?

    • diana
      September 25, 2011 at 9:05 am #

      Hi Nancy, if it’s sealed the lid should have already popped in by itself in the 24 hours you let it rest. If it pops in when you press it that means it didn’t seal properly, if it doesn’t pop in that means it already has. Also, you can try reprocessing it again after 24 hours. Just remove the lid and check that it’s in good condition and that there’s nothing on the rim of the jar.

  23. KC
    September 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Sounds delicious. I have a couple questions..
    Have you tried making this with Stevia or Agave nectar so it’s better for diabetics? If you do, do you need to use pectin?
    Do you think it would be ok to do this as freezer jam instead of processing?

    • diana
      September 29, 2011 at 7:43 am #

      Hi KC, I know you can make this as a freezer jam. I haven’t tried the stevia or agave nectar. I went with sugar because it’s the most affordable. Looking at the stevia website they have an apple butter recipe w/out pectin so I think the apples have enough pectin in them.

      • KC
        September 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

        Thanks! Might even try for peach butter.

        • diana
          October 18, 2011 at 8:42 am #

          Oooh, if you make peach butter KC let me know how it goes!

  24. Shannon
    October 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    I am going to try this recipe this week, it sounds easy and yummy! My mom makes apple butter an I love hers, but am excited to use the peel and try my own.

    I see people were asking, early on, what to use apple butter for. I cook with it. Substitute it for 1/4 or 1/2 of the shortening or oil you would use in a recipe. I do this with oatmeal cookies especially and everyone raves about them.

    • diana
      October 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

      Oooh that’s a great idea Shannon! I’ve used apple sauce before but apple butter would give a wonderful flavor profile to baked goods. Have fun making some!

  25. BK
    October 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    I used a similar recipe, however, I peeled my apples and put the peels into a cheesecloth. Then when the apples were cooked, down, squeezed it with some tongs and lifted it out. No need to sieve. Then blended everything into a smooth puree with an immersion blender. Turned out great, and canned beautifully.

  26. Lorraine
    October 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    I just made a batch of apple butter and would like to share my version. I quartered my freshly picked apples with the
    skin and added them to my biggest cooking pot. I put in
    enough water to cover the bottom of the pot and brought to a boil and then covered and simmered til soft. I put through
    my Squeezon strainer and with the pulp added 1/3 cup sugar
    to 1 cup pulp (may even less sugar next time). Put it all in
    my 6 quart crock pot with the spices (cinnamon, cloves and
    and a little bit of nutmeg. Turned my crock pot on low before
    I went to bed and woke up in the morning with a heavenly scent. I turned the crock pot down to warm while I prepared the jars, filled them and processed in a boiling water bath.
    I didn’t have the apple peeler so I had to find a way to keep
    from hand peeling all those apples and I must say it turned
    out absolutely wonderful. I am so glad you shared your process with us. Now to find a pumpkin butter recipe.
    Thank you – Happy Autumn

    • diana
      October 18, 2011 at 8:52 am #

      Sounds great Lorraine! I just got 30 lbs of Sweet Sixteen apples from our local orchard and they’re so sweet I may not even need to add sugar. Can’t wait to try it. Pumpkin butter sounds amazing. Must try it this year!

  27. Myrella
    October 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    My apple butter came out with a plum color, it tastes great though. The apple butter I usually see is more caramel color, did I make a mistake somewhere?

    • diana
      October 18, 2011 at 9:01 am #

      Nope, you’re just fine! That dark color is from the long cooking time. The natural sugars in the apples got deeply caramelized which is what gives it such a full flavor.

  28. Tommye
    October 22, 2011 at 1:54 am #

    A cute thing to do, especially if giving this for gifts, is to remove the jar rings after the apple butter has cooled, and put a square of blue & white checked fabric over the lid, then replace the ring. Many of you already know about this. I cannot remember what size the square needs to be; also, you can use any color or print fabric that you want to or that you have on hand. The checked fabric is just really cute and “screams” homemade! Also, be sure your lid and your jar are CLEAN before adding the fabric.

  29. Tommye
    October 22, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    PS: I forgot to say that I am a girl Tommye. :-)

  30. jessie gadbury
    October 25, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    I just made this recipe yesterday and I’m jsut checking on something. I did NOT add any water/juice, but there is a ton of liquid. Do I cook it down, or do I just puree it with all the liquid?

    • diana
      October 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      Yes puree it all together! All that liquid came out of your super juicy apples. The longer you cook it the thicker it will be so once it’s pureed you can decide if you want it thinner or thicker.

      • Jessie
        October 27, 2011 at 8:26 am #

        Thanks! It turned our SOOOO great. I was nervous because everyone told me that the peels would always leave small chunks and I wanted a smooth apple butter. After 24 hours I pureed a small it and you could feel the peels and it was a lighter brown. So I just kept cooking away and after it cook for 2 days and pureed it, it is wonderfully smooth and I love how dark the color is. I wanted it to be as dark as my gramdmas, so thank you so much!

        • diana
          October 27, 2011 at 11:53 am #

          You are SOOOO welcome! Glad it came out like you wanted it :)

  31. Aleia
    October 28, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe, I’m going to start cooking today!

    I’ve never canned (figured apples from my own tree would be a good way to start) and this looks very straight forward, as well as delicious.

    I’d like to use some 1/2 pint jars as well as pint ones. Would 1/2 pint also be processed for 20 minutes? I’m assuming to process pint with pint, and 1/2s with 1/2 – not mix them in the water bath? Thank you for your thoughts!

    • diana
      October 28, 2011 at 9:14 am #

      I’ve done some research and am going to amend my processing time. The 20 minutes was what I had done previously with quart sized jars at over 1000 ft above sea level. Processing longer times won’t hurt the apple butter but isn’t necessary. Check the recipe in five minutes!

  32. Sarah
    November 8, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    So, I’m making this right now and have blended it and am trying to figure out what consistency I want it. Right now it’s sort of like a runny applesauce. Will it thicken when it cools? I don’t want it runny. But it tastes great!

    • diana
      November 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

      Hi Sarah, the longer you cook it the thicker it will get. I’d just keep it on low or even warm stirring every once in a while until it’s the consistency you want.

  33. Marlene
    November 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Diana,
    I don’t have and immersion blender, food processer or regular blender, but soooo want to try this. Would an old fashioned potato masher work out ok?
    And I’m REALLY happy I’m not gonna have to stand and peel each and everyone of these apples !!!! LOL

    • diana
      November 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

      A potato masher will work to a certain extent but you may still get pieces of peel. If you’re not blending it skipping the peels might give you a smoother consistency but I’d suggest you just give it a try! Even if there are still pieces of peel in it the taste will be amazing, it will just be a different texture.

  34. Lisa
    November 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I just wanted to thank you for such a great recipe! I get boxes of apples from my uncle’s orchard for free and can’t eat them all before they spoil. This is a long process, but so worth it.

    I just want to let everyone know that I did not peel the apples. I cut them in small cubes and put them in the crock pot for 12 hours and then while in the crock pot, I used a potato masher on them. Kept cooking for another 10 hours and then put in a blender to make smooth. Poured all liquid back into crock pot and cooked until thick. Then canned them with water bath method.
    Also, I used Splenda in place of sugar and it tastes fantastic!
    Thanks again for sharing this :)

  35. Kelly
    November 20, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Okay, I know this is an old post, but hoping you see this. Do you think from a canning safety standpoint it matters how much you cook it down. I made some and although it wasn’t as dark as I wanted it to be, it was getting pretty gelatinous so I decided to stop. I may have to come back and try your recipe as well.

    • diana
      November 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Kelly! I don’t think it does. As far as canning safety goes, it’s about temperature and acidity/sugar content. Also, apples have a high pectin content with tarter ones having more pectin, so some varieties may become thicker faster than others. Hope that helps!

  36. Jessica
    December 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    I’m really excited to try this recipe. I want to make it for holiday gifts for my co-workers. I’m having a hard time finding a canning rack. I ordered one off the internet and it turned out to be too big for my stock pot (which is amazing because I have a HUGE pot that I couldn’t have imagined would have not been big enough…) I don’t have time to order a better size because my work place closes for the holidays in about a week and a half (yay for working in a school and getting winter break!)

    Anyway, the point of this is that I was wondering if the apple butter absolutely had to be canned. I know canning preserves the food and allows it to be saved, unrefrigerated for a long period of time, but is there a problem with not canning it? Am I able to just tell people it needs to be refrigerated? And most importantly, is it safe to give to people if it hasn’t been canned? If so, about how long does it last refrigerated, but uncanned?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • diana
      December 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

      I have two items of good news. The first is that you can just refrigerate it for several weeks so if you’re giving it away and telling them to refrigerate you don’t have to can it. The better news is that you don’t need a canning rack at all! I’ve been canning a few years now and this is the first year I’ve bought actual canning “accessories”. You can simply lower the jars in and out of the pot of water using canning tongs or rubber coated tongs. If you do want to get any canning accessories, I found Walmart to be the cheapest place. Good luck!

      • Jessica
        December 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

        Thanks so much! That’s a huge help!

  37. Julia Lindsay
    December 20, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Dear Diana, Great website and blog. Have you ever tried using Xylitol to sweeten your applesauce or apple butter? I’d love to know the proportions of Xylitol to sugar. Keep up the good work. We’re all benefitting from your expertise. BTW, I baked your banana mini muffins. Outstanding! Julie

  38. Hannah
    April 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Just finished making this, absolutely.love it!!! A little skeptical at first about leaving peels on but after it was all blended it was completely smooth and the perfect consistency. Thank you soooo much!

    • Diana
      May 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      You’re so welcome!!!

  39. Donna
    September 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I tried this recipe and it turned out awesome and was so tasty! My family loved it. The only change I made to your recipe is…that I used dwarf gala apples and I sliced them and filled them to the top of my crock pot and added the sugar and spices…then after 10 hours….I added more sliced apples to the top of the crock pot and added the same amount of sugar and spices as I did the first time. Then I just let it cook on low for another another 20 hours…(so total cook time from start to finish 30 to 31 hours) Then I pureed in the blender and canned. Thank you very much for sharing your recipe!

  40. Celeste
    October 17, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    oh can you put this recipe on pinterest? so I can repin it? :)

  41. Toka
    January 13, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    My 10 yr old daughter and I made this last weekend and it was a huge success!! It was very easy, actually she did most of the work. I just helped. I did do the jarring myself because I had never jarred anything before and it can get dangerous but I think she can help me with that part next time! We’ve made deliveries to friends and family all week… even had to deliver a 2nd batch to my sister-in-law because they finished they’re jar so fast lol! Thanks for sharing such a tasty recipe!!!!

  42. Julie
    June 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Dianna, I would love to make this but need to know how to keep it after its made. Id really like one that i can just put in the cupboard til we are ready for a jar. so… Fridge or cupboard for this recipe?

    • Diana
      September 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      Hi Julie, so sorry I missed this earlier. If you can it in the water bath method it will keep in the cupboard for over a year.

  43. Wendi
    June 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    I have never made apple butter from scratch before or ever canned anything so I am excited to try this. I always put some apple butter in my pumpkin pies.

    • Diana
      August 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Oooh apple butter in pumpkin pie? That sounds amazing! How much do you put in? I want to try! Let me know how this recipe turns out for you.

      • Kathy
        November 18, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

        Apple butter pie is awesome too!! Just exchange pumpkin for apple butter in the pumpkin pie recipe. Everything else is the same…

  44. hobbitmama32
    September 24, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    i’m from germany and was googling different apple recipes. my neighbor has 3 apple trees but sadly allergic to apples. so that means free apples for me and my 4 kids (because of my 4 kids she thinks we won’t waste or throw them away, which is true). i used to eat apple butter all the time growing up and now my kids can enjoy some. soo making this as christmas presants too!!!

    • Diana
      September 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      Wonderful! It would be sad to be allergic to apples but so glad your family can benefit.

  45. LPooler
    September 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Made this recipe. It was GREAT!!!!! Only thing is that we only got 3 pints from the recipe.

    • Diana
      September 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      Thanks for the note on the amount, I’m realizing I need to make this again with weights for the apples rather than number of apples. When I use huge fuji apples I get quite a bit more apple butter, but when I use smaller sweet sixteens I get half the amount.

  46. Rob
    September 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Try using the apple butter on pork chops, either strait out of the jar or cook it right on the chops or better yet salt and pepper a pork roast then coat with the apple butter before you put it in the oven. I cut the sugar back, just a little, in the recipe especially when I know I’m gonna use it for cooking. I’m addicted to the stuff!! great recipe!!!

    • Diana
      September 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      Thanks so much Rob. LOVE the idea of using it on pork chops and will definitely try it. Making me think it might be good to try with meatballs too!

  47. Laurie
    September 26, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    My question is why do some of the USDA or ball blue books call for vinegar and apple cider, or apple juice. I remember being told
    by a home economist that there needed to be some acidic chemicals
    in the receipe to make it safe. Any thoughts?

    • Diana
      September 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      Good question Laurie. From several sources I’ve read, the vinegar or cider in apple butter is more of a flavor/texture preference. You do need acid or sugar for canning to make the food safe, but the cooked down apples with their super sweet caramelized sugars really don’t even need added sugar (No sugar added apple butter recipe here). It’s like homemade apple sauce or jam. Hope that helps!

  48. kathy
    October 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    help!!!!! first time doing a lot of homemade stuff. im on my second 10 hrs of making this apple butter. so far it looks like soup with skin floating in it! is that how its suppose to look at this point? does it thicken later? this is actually fairly easy and it does taste good.

    • Diana
      October 3, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      Usually by this time it’s thickened for me. You must have super juicy apples, which is great because it means lots of flavor! You can crack the lid open a bit so that evaporation can speed up. Just be careful if you leave it unsupervised more than a couple hours because you don’t want it to burn.

  49. Debbie C
    October 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Found your recipe after doctors order to stay off the knee so was quite happy to see a crockpot recipe where I can stay off the knee and yet still make apple butter. Must say that this turned out GREAT! I ended up cooking mine for 44 hours overall (I turned it down to warm when I went to bed) taste and consistancy turned out great. I did vent my lid for about 2 1/2 hours at the end so the steam wouldn’t fall back into the mix. I also only had a regular blender and used the puree cycle and like I said, the apple butter turned out great!! I started 2 more crockpots of this so my family will truely enjoy the fruits of my labor – which wasn’t like before thanks to this recipe. Now to find a pumpkin butter and a tomato butter recipe that uses a crockpot and I will be very happy!! Thanks for the great recipe!!!

    • Debbie C
      October 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      Forgot to mention … I only needed to use a total of 3 cups sugar, I used McIntosh apples. Of the other two I started after making the first batch…. I have another McIntosh started and a Golden Delicious… wonder which flavor I will like best. :)

      • Diana
        October 31, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

        I’d love to hear what your favorite flavor was! I think next time I am going to try several varieties of apples as many readers have suggested.

    • Diana
      October 31, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      You are so welcome Debbie! Hope your knee is healing quickly.

  50. Layla Fisher
    October 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    A friend and I made applesauce for the first time yesterday using the Betty Crocker recipe. However it did not give any indication of how long to cook the apples, just “to desired consistency”. Finally after hours we got tired and canned it. We ended up with what we affectionately called “apple butter soup” as it is very runny. However it tasted great on toast and I’m thinking it would be a great glaze over plain cake! I like the crock pot idea, but may just stick to applesauce for the rest of the apples.

    • Diana
      October 31, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

      I’ve had a few jam recipes like that, I call them “soft set jam” and use them as glazes mostly.

  51. Matt
    October 11, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    I’ve made it with sweet apples and tart apples, adjusting the amount of sugar for the sweetness of the apples. The tart apples made the best butter. I’ll never use sweet apples again. There was no depth to the flavor.

    • Diana
      October 31, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      Sounds great Matt!

  52. kathy
    October 11, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    made this and its delicious. not as much work as it seems. left the peels on and no problem with them in the end. Diana thanks for your prompt help and encouragement. I did leave the allspice out because there is something in there I just don’t like. still absolutely delicious.

  53. Gina
    October 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Hi, thanks for this recipe. It was so easy. I used various size jars so I can give them away as hostess gifts and everyone so far has loved it! I used 8 kinds of apples and I could take a bath in this stuff.

    Great job!
    Gina

    • Diana
      October 31, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      I once had a dream about taking a bath in apple butter. So silly! Glad it’s been a hit, thanks for letting me know Gina.

  54. Linda
    October 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    I make apple butter every year and usually cook the apples, peels and all, run them through a food mill, and then bake the puree in the oven. Can’t wait to try the crock pot. I always use at least 6 varieties of apples – makes a much richer and delicious apple butter. Thanks for the crock pot idea!

    • Diana
      October 31, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

      You’re welcome Linda! I love the idea of using multiple varieties. I will have to try that next season.

    • Sherri Balder
      November 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

      Hello Linda
      You have peeked my interest in making the apple butter in the oven , When you say a food mill is that a food processor. Would you like to share your recipe.

      Sherri

  55. Maija
    October 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    I’m on here looking for uses of apple peel. I wonder if you could make this with JUST peel?

    • Diana
      October 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

      I think it’s totally worth trying Maija. I havne’t done it with just peel before but I’ve certainly used quite a bit of peel in it. If you give it a try I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  56. Peggy
    October 17, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Love making apple butter! A favorite for Christmas gifts! I like to put it on French toast!! YUM! Thanks for your recipe!

    • Diana
      October 31, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      Oh man, you now have me craving apple butter french toast. You’re welcome!

  57. Dorothy
    October 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I have finished my apple butter and find it delicious and fun to make BUT I have a serious problem to report. I have discovered my kitchen counter laminated surface has buckled up in the two places I used to cook the apples. I mean it is seriously damaged to the point I must get new countertop. I just want to warn everyone to be sure they set their crockpots on a surface that can withstand the heat.. The first person I told of this problem was my neighbor and I could hardly believe it, but she scorched her countertop with a crockpot, also. Had to resurface the spot. So WARNING TO ALL. Crockpots can get hot!!! Mine is a Rival Model 3755. I think of Rival as a good brand. I am trying to call them to report but my crockpot is several years old and not in warrantee. I still think they should know. Be careful, folks!!

    • Diana
      October 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

      Oh Dorothy that’s awful!!! I’ve never had anything like that happen so had no idea. Thanks for the warning, I will add it to the post.

  58. Brooke
    November 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    I’m trying this recipe with peaches this weekend.I’m substituting Splenda for the sugar. birthday gift for my almost 72 year old diabetic Dad.

  59. Amy
    November 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Just finished my first attempt at this and it turned out great. I substituted about 2/3c of raw agave nectar for the sugar, otherwise followed your recipe and it was just delicious!

  60. Robin
    November 5, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    I’m whipping 2 crock pots of your Apple Butter. I didn’t peel any of them and it is looking pretty awesome…at hour 30..can’t wait to try it…..oh and “Pampered Chef” has and awesome Apple peeler/corer thing!

  61. Linda
    November 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    Just finishing up my first batch. I did 10# in my 5 qt. crock pot in around 16 hours. Maybe a bit more. I did all the spice at the top level and sweetened it with 1 cup of organic raw agave nectar. It is thick and lush in texture. I did work it with my immersion blender stick and I do not see telltale bits of peel. I love the convenience and richness of keeping the peel on. Warming it back up to can it but just wanted to thank you for a great recipe. Can’t wait to get another 10# of apples and do it again!! I used a combination of Fuji, Honey Crisp and Rome apples.

  62. Mineka Domme
    November 7, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    So I just finished this recipe and…. I don’t understand. It tastes like apple butter mixed with molasses, not very yummy in my opinion. The crock pot was on low the whole time, should I have had it on warm instead? Is there anyway at all to fix this? Granted I stopped about three hours shy of the full two days because it was already starting to taste burned. But I don’t know if it’s possible to fix this, and I would’ve hated to have wasted all those apples.
    Maybe it should be suggested, since I think this is what happened, not to add any sugar at the beginning but just at the end for flavor. If anyone has any help for turning this bowl of apple molasses around, do let me know otherwise it’ll likely end up in the trash.

    • Linda
      November 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      I’m making my second batch of apple butter using this recipe. Started with a full 5 qt. crockpot of cored and sliced apples with the full spices noted in the recipe and 1 cup of organic agave nectar. Started cooking on low around 9:30 PM and except for when it timed out and went to warm setting for maybe an hour it has cooked on low until now (which is 2:30 PM the next day). The butter is ready as far as I’m concerned. It’s full of flavor and thick enough to stand the spoon straight up in the pot and hold it. It’s dark and lush looking and I’ve used the immersion blender on it twice to get a silky smooth consistency and blend the peel to where it is not notable. I have not had the problem you are indicating. Perhaps your crockpot runs hot? I would recommend replacing it with a newer model if it is an older model or a programmable one if this one is not. They tend to be on sale around the holidays and inexpensive to replace. I had one that was smaller with less options on it and I think it ran a bit hot. I did add another 6 apples or so to the butter around 9 AM or so once the first batch cooked down and I do go and stir it occasionally to cook more evenly but really it pretty much takes care of itself and cooking all night without any stirring didn’t seem to cause any problems with overcooking and caramelizing the sugar but then I’m using agave (which I highly recommend for canning and jams/butters) so maybe there is the difference if the sugar over browned before it liquified in the pot.

      • Diana
        November 18, 2013 at 9:49 am #

        Thanks for the great tips Linda!

  63. Theresa
    November 13, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I have a question my grandmother use to use the cinnamon candy hearts in her apple butter how would I use then instead of the ground cinnamon for extra flavor? I grew up on apple butter and want to try making a batch for my fiance to try.

    • Diana
      November 13, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

      Hmmm, I’m not sure Theresa, haven’t tried that before. I’m guessing you could use less sugar since they are probably sweet. I would suggest not adding any sugar or spices, just maybe 1/4 cup of the candies, and then taste it toward the end and add any additional spices or sugar you think it needs. Sounds like a fun experiment!

      • Lauren
        November 18, 2013 at 8:14 am #

        Hello Diana,
        I am anxious to try out your yummy sounding apples butter recipe but I have a question to ask before I get started. I went to the store last night to get apples and I did come across Fiji Apple s and they were huge also a bit expensive. So I grabbed a few of those and two different other types of apples but they were a lot smaller than the Fijis. How do I figure out how many apples to put in if there are size differences. Is there any way you can give me the measurement in pounds.

        • Diana
          November 18, 2013 at 9:48 am #

          Hi Lauren, sorry I don’t have the measurement in pounds, but am planning to do that next time I make apple butter. Basically just fill your crockpot to the limit, then continue filling it once it cooks down. If the Fuji apples are huge, I would consider them one and a half apples.

          • Lauren
            November 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

            Okay thank you. :)

  64. Stacy
    November 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Hooray! This was wonderful – just what I needed after I left three large boxes of apples (Criterion, Braeburn, & Golden Delicious) out on the back patio when Jack Frost came to visit. Between your crockpot apple butter and my apple sauce and apple pie filling, I have finally managed to finish up those frozen apples. Phew! You are a blessing. Thank you!

  65. Linda
    November 25, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Going for batch #3. This time I’m doing a mix of apples and pears though I might end up with a few more apples than pears in the batch since I wasn’t sure how many pears to buy (because I didn’t think it through before buying) when I was at the store. Someone asked about weight. The first batch I did was 10# of apples. They were a mix of Rome, Fuji and Honey Crisp. I know the poundage because I bought 10# at the local store. The second batch is an unknown local apple from a neighbor’s tree–I haven’t learned the variety. It reminds me of Honey Crisp because it is firm and white-fleshed and “snaps” but it looks slightly different so I’m thinking it is a different variety. Most of the apples are quite large but really really nice for baking/butter. I hope to find out what type they are. I’d like my own tree! Same as before on sweetening and spices. Full load of spices indicated (4-cinnamon, 1-cloves, 1/2-allspice) and a cup of agave nectar. Setting it to start on low at 7:30 PM. Since I get up at 4-5 I will be around to reset it and add more fruit before it times out at 5:30 AM. I didn’t peel either apples or pears–just cored and roughly chunked them to fit more into the pot. Using a 5-qt. programmable crockpot.

  66. sarah
    March 5, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Does it matter how thin you slice the apples? I have a corer/slicer that devices it into 8 pieces….

  67. Omo
    September 8, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    Hello Diane,
    Thanks for a wonderful recipe. I’ve never had apple butter and would like to make this.

    I dont have a crockpot. Do you think I can use a regular one?

    Also, can I pause the cooking and continue when I get home from work as I cant leave it unattended.

    Thanks

  68. Michelle
    September 13, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Came across this when doing a google search. I did tweek mine a bit with the sugar amount and used local apples from a farm stand. It turned out great. Thanks fir sharing

  69. Linda Ammons
    September 19, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    My grandmother made it in a huge copper pot over a wood fire, wish I had that old pot. The main thing I remember is near the end she added a bag of cinnamon red hot candies and it was so delish…

  70. Kathy Truman
    October 18, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Was reading all these and remembering my mother. She use to peel and slice her apples into a big roaster pan (the one she used for Thanksgiving Turkey). Apple juice and spices were added. Then she would put it into a 250 oven and let cook all night! I remember waking up to the wonderful smell of apples and cinnamon through our entire house! They would cook all day, and later that nite we would can our apple butter.

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