Learn how to make a small-batch crock pot apple butter. This warmly-spiced apple jam captures all of the flavors of fall; cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
It is great on biscuits and scones, stirred into a bowl of warm oatmeal, served with a cheese board, or packaged as a gift. Despite the name, crock pot apple butter is dairy-free.
While most people are going crazy over pumpkin-spice everything, I’m just not a super fan. Apples are my favorite fall flavor. Apple cider, apple pie, apple crisp, and a nice hot toddy to name a few but it’s this small-batch Apple Butter that’s my absolute favorite.
Apple butter is a rich and smooth spread made by slow-cooking apples with sugar and spices until the mixture reaches a thick, velvety consistency. The result is a concentrated, caramelized apple flavor with hints of cinnamon and spices. It’s often enjoyed on toast, muffins, or as a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes.
Does Apple butter have dairy?
Despite the name, apple butter is dairy-free and contains no butter or dairy whatsoever. Its name is derived from its smooth spreadability similar to that of butter. In actuality, apple butter (also known as apple jam) is just a thicker, more spiced version of apple sauce.
What are the Ingredients for Apple Butter
Gather the essence of autumn with crisp apples, a hint of sugar, and a medley of warming spices. These simple ingredients unite to craft the decadent symphony of homemade apple butter.
- Apples: Provide the foundational sweetness and texture, serving as the main ingredient for the apple butter.
- Cinnamon: Infuses warm and aromatic notes, enhancing the overall flavor profile with a delightful spice.
- Nutmeg: Adds depth and complexity to the taste, complementing the sweetness of apples.
- Cloves: Introduces a warm, earthy flavor, contributing to the rich and aromatic character of the apple butter.
- Granulated Sugar: Acts as a sweetener, balancing the natural tartness of apples and aiding in the caramelization process during cooking.
- Brown Sugar: Enhances the depth of sweetness and adds a subtle molasses note, contributing to the complexity of flavors.
- Salt: Functions as a flavor enhancer, highlighting and balancing the sweetness while providing a nuanced taste to the apple butter.
How to Make Crock Pot Apple Butter
Transform humble apples into ambrosial apple butter. Simmer, spice, and savor the process of crafting this velvety delight at home.
- Peel and core apples. Place apples in the slow cooker .
- Cook on LOW for 12 hours.
- Continue to cook on low with the lid removed so steam can escape and thicken the sauce.
- Blend to your desired consistency. I prefer old-fashioned smooth.
- Allow to cool, then spoon into jars and store in the refrigerator.
Why this Apple Butter Recipe Works
This recipe works by marrying the natural sweetness of apples with the perfect blend of spices, creating a harmonious balance. Slow cooking allows flavors to intensify, resulting in a decadent apple butter that’s versatile and irresistible.
Recipe Tips and Kitchen Tricks
- Apple Selection: Choose a mix of sweet and tart apples for depth of flavor.
- Low and Slow: Simmer on low heat to intensify flavors without burning.
- Spice Gradually: Add spices gradually, tasting along the way to achieve your preferred level of warmth and complexity.
What are the best apples for apple butter?
The best apples for this recipe will always be whichever varieties are your favorite! You can (and should) mix and match apple varieties to make this jam. Since apples cook down at different rates, they will yield different textures when you puree the apples. That being said, softer apples are typically used since they cook down the quickest. However, I prefer, a 50-50 blend of tart granny smith apples with a blend of sweeter apples like honey crisp and fuji apples. Other varieties typically used are Braeburn, McIntosh, and Golden Delicious.
- Cinnamon Vanilla Twist: Enhance with a dash of vanilla extract for a fragrant, nuanced profile.
- Spiced Maple Infusion: Replace sugar with maple syrup and add nutmeg for a cozy autumn twist.
- Citrus Zest Burst: Amp up freshness with orange or lemon zest for a delightful citrus undertone.
- Classic Toast & English Muffin Topper: Spread on warm toast, English muffins, or bagels for a comforting breakfast.
- Cheese Pairing Platter: Serve alongside a variety of cheeses for a delightful appetizer.
- Yogurt Parfait Perfection: Layer with yogurt and granola for a wholesome and sweet treat.
- Dessert Drizzle: Elevate desserts by using apple butter as a flavorful drizzle or filling.
- Pork Glaze Magic: Brush on roasted pork for a delectable sweet and savory finish.
Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions
Storing: Keep apple butter in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Freezing: Store in airtight containers, leaving space for expansion, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Thaw in the fridge if frozen, then gently warm on low heat, stirring occasionally. Avoid overheating to preserve the texture and flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you refrigerate Apple Butter?
Yes, after it is cooled. Apple butter must be kept in the refrigerator.
How long is apple butter good for? How long does apple butter last in the fridge?
Apple butter contains no preservatives and only lasts for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze Apple butter?
Yes, freeze for up to two months.
Can Apple Butter be canned?
Yes, apple butter can be canned.
Is Apple Butter Gluten-free?
Absolutely! The 7 simple ingredients do not contain gluten.
Is apple butter vegan?
Yes! Despite the name, crock pot apple butter is dairy-free.
Is Apple Butter Dairy-Free?
Yes! Despite the name, crock pot apple butter is dairy-free.
- Apple Butter Smoothie: Blend apple butter with yogurt, banana, and a splash of milk for a creamy treat.
- Sparkling Apple Punch: Mix apple juice, sparkling water, and a hint of grenadine for a fizzy, non-alcoholic delight.
- Hot Apple Cider: Warm apple cider with a cinnamon stick for a comforting beverage perfect for kids on a chilly day.
- Apple Butter Lemonade: Combine apple butter with freshly squeezed lemon juice and chilled water for a refreshing family-friendly drink.
- Iced Chai Apple Tea: Brew chai tea, cool it, and mix it with apple butter over ice—a flavorful, caffeine-free option.
- Vanilla Apple Milkshake: Blend apple butter with vanilla ice cream and milk for a creamy and indulgent treat the whole family can enjoy.
- Chardonnay: Enhances the creamy notes of apple butter.
- Pinot Noir: Balances the sweetness with a light, fruity touch.
- Late Harvest Riesling: Its sweetness complements the apple butter’s richness.
- Spiced Apple Mule: Vodka, ginger beer, apple butter, and spices for a kick.
- Bourbon Cider Smash: Bourbon, apple butter, cider, and a touch of lemon for a refreshing sip.
- Maple Apple Whiskey Sour: Whiskey, apple butter, maple syrup, and lemon juice for a smooth blend.
- Hard Cider: Enhances the apple flavors in the butter.
- Brown Ale: Offers a malty backbone that complements the sweetness.
- Pumpkin Ale: Brings in seasonal spices that work well with apple butter.
Crock Pot Apple Butter
- 6 pounds granny smith , or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Remove cover and blend until smooth.
- If you prefer a thicker apple butter, continue to cook on low with the lid removed so that steam can escape and thicken the sauce.
- Allow to cool, then spoon into jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.