This recipe for apple butter is an easy crock pot recipe! You can use this apple butter for canning, too!
There’s nothing like homemade apple butter, especially in the fall after you’ve gone to the apple orchard with the kids. (So be sure to pick extra apple for your apple butter recipe!)
This is an easy recipe to show the kids the entire apple growing cycle and how it gets from farm to table!
Before we get to the apple butter recipe, let’s answer some common questions that will help if you’ve never had or made apple butter.
What is apple butter?
Apple butter is a more concentrated form of apple sauce. The apples cook for a longer time, allowing sugar to caramelize and turn a deeper brown than applesauce.
What does apple butter taste like?
Apple butter has a consistency like applesauce. However apple butter tastes more intense and stronger than applesauce because of the long cooking process with spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
What is the difference between apple butter and applesauce?
The difference between apple butter and applesauce is that apple butter is more concentrated. Because a recipe for apple butter cooks longer, it removes more of the water, breaks down the apples more, and becomes thicker than apple sauce.
What is apple butter used for?
Uses for apple butter:
- Apple butter sandwich
- Apple slices
- Apple butter pancakes
- Cake or baked goods
- Apple butter pie
- Apple butter pumpkin pie
- Muffins (to make apple butter muffins)
- Apple butter bread
- Filling for cakes or cupcakes
- Pork / apple butter pork chops
Can you eat apple butter by itself?
Yes! You can eat apple butter by itself. It is a thicker, more cinnamon flavor than applesauce and good to eat alone, but it is also yummy spread on things like toast, waffles, as an oatmeal topping and more!
Apple Butter Homemade
How do you make apple butter from scratch?
Making apple butter is easier than you think and can be made on the stove top, apple butter in a crock pot, or you can make apple butter in an Instant Pot. Apple butter from scratch can made a variety of ways, depending on if you like it more intense with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, or milder with just cinnamon.
In addition to apples, apple butter recipes can include a variety of apple butter ingredients like:
- Brown sugar
- Apple cider
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lemon juice
If you search for how to make apple butter the old fashioned way (or Grandma old fashioned apple butter recipe), you’ll still get a variety of different recipes from mild apple butter to a deeper, richer traditional apple butter recipe with different spices with a stronger taste.
What apples are good for apple butter?
The best apples for apple butter are Mcintosh, Red Delicious, or Gala, Cortland, Fuji or even a mix of those. Although Granny Smith apples may be a go-to for baking apple dishes, they are not as good for apple butter.
Can you use apple butter instead of butter?
Can you substitute apple butter for butter? Apple butter is not a replacement for regular butter, as they are very different. Apple butter is just called “butter,” but there is no dairy (or actual butter) in an apple butter recipe. Don’t substitute apple butter in recipes that call for butter, but it can be used in place of applesauce.
Is apple jelly the same as apple butter?
Apple jelly is not the same as apple butter. Apple jelly is a clear, amber preserve that is a thick, spreadable consistency. Apple butter is cooked down apples that makes a darker, chunkier spread that is very different from apple jelly. However, they can both be used for breads and baked goods spreads.
Let’s get to our crockpot apple butter recipe!
(Don’t miss out tips about storing apple butter after the recipe!)
PERFECT WITH THIS RECIPE:
RECIPE FOR APPLE BUTTER IN SLOW COOKER
One of the problems that people have with an apple butter recipe is trying to get the right consistency.
What should the consistency of apple butter be?
The consistency of apple butter should be a little thicker than apple sauce. You don’t want a thinner, runny apple butter. It should be thick enough to spread on a piece of toast.
How do you know if apple butter is thick enough?
Apple butter will be thick and dark once it is cooked down. If you’re unsure if apple butter is thick enough, get a spoon of the apple butter. Away from the steam of the pot or crockpot, turn the spoon on it’s side. The apple butter is thick enough if it clings to the spoon and doesn’t immediately slide off.
How do I thicken apple butter?
Apple butter will naturally thicken the longer they are cooked because the water from the apples will cook off. If your apple butter does not seem to be getting thick, remove the lid from the pot or crockpot during the last hour off cooking and allow more of the liquid to evaporate off.
This apple butter slow cooker is a favorite recipe. (We’ve made it as a crock pot recipe, but you can make apple butter recipe instant pot, too!)
Also, don’t be afraid to play around with it and use different spices in smaller batches to see what your family likes best!
Apple butter making is fun for the whole family, so don’t forget to get your kids cooking, too!
- 5 pounds apples, cored and chopped
- 4 cups white sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- Place apples in a large crockpot. Pour sugar mixture over apples and mix so that apple pieces are covered.
- Place lid on crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours, or until apples have cooked down and are thick and brown. If your apple butter has a lot of liquid or is runny, remove the lid and let the apples cook for another hour or until more of the liquid has evaporated.
- Stir apple butter until smooth and combine. If you like a smoother apple butter or find you have chunks of apple peels, you can run it through a blender or food processor.
- Store apple butter in refrigerator for a few weeks or place in a freezer safe container and freeze. You can also can apple butter to keep for up to 2 years when stored in a cool, dark place.
*You can leave your apples with the peel on or peel them.
*If you like a spicier apple butter, you can also add a 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
*Apples have a lot of water, so they will naturally cook down without the need to add more liquid. However, if you find that your apples are cooking down fast or burning, add a 1/4 cup of water or apple cider to the bottom of the crockpot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 18mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 32gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
HOW DO YOU STORE APPLE BUTTER?
How long is homemade apple butter good for?
- Apple butter stored in refrigerator should lasts for around a month or a little more.
- Apple butter stored in the refrigerator in an airtight freezer container will last for up to 6 months.
- Canned apple butter, unopened and stored in a cool, dark place, will last for 2 years or a little more.
Can apple butter be left out?
Apple butter has a no preservatives and a very low sugar content, which means that the apple butter can easily mold if left out on the counter or table. Once you’ve used the apple butter, place it in the refrigerator shortly after.
Do you refrigerate apple butter?
Yes, you should refrigerate apple butter when it’s not being used. Since apple butter molds easily, it should be stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer for longer term storage.
How long is homemade apple butter good for once opened?
Once homemade apple butter is opened, it will last (if stored properly in the refrigerator) for a little over a month. Each time you use the apple butter, check it before eating to see if any mold has formed on the butter or on the inside of the lid or container. If it has, discard the apple butter instead of eating.
Can you freeze apple butter in Mason jars?
You can store apple butter (and many other things) in Mason jars in the freezer. However, since glass can break and glass jars take up a lot of room in the freezer, freezing apple butter flat in a freezer bag may be a better option.
How do you know if apple butter is bad?
Apple butter that has gone bad may develop an odor or sour smell. It may also get very thin and watery or you may also see mold forming. If your apple butter has any of these (or all), do not consume and discard the apple butter immediately.
APPLE BOOKS FOR KIDS
These are great children’s books to pair with this recipe: