Friday, October 29, 2010

'Tis the Season for Apple Butter

I love apple butter...on pancakes, on toast, on muffins, and straight from the jar.  I've gotten some as gifts before in those cute, decorative mason jars that you see all over the place at country stores but never buy because they're just too darn expensive.  At least I never do, because I always think it's something I'll make myself someday...and sometimes, I actually do.  Here's an easy apple butter recipe for your crock pot that will make your house smell unbelievable.  Neighbors will get a whiff from miles away and come flocking to your door.  Since you'll want to keep this delicious apple butter either for yourself or to give away as Christmas gifts, smile sweetly and hand off this recipe to them.  Then lock your door.

Crock Pot Apple Butter
Based on the recipe from the PickYourOwn website
6 quarts applesauce (homemade is best)
2 - 2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves

pint canning jars
crock pot (the quantities in this recipe are for a 4-quart crock)
boiling water canner and instructions

1.  Make applesauce!  This is the easy step.  Slice and cook down the apples (minus the cores) in some water, then either press through a food mill or puree in a blender (I go for option #2).  Leave the skins on.  See?  That's pretty easy.  Approximately 44 medium apples will make six quarts.  And use sweet Granny Smiths!  Save those for pie.

I used a combination of Stayman (above) and Enterprise.
2.  Pour 3 1/2- 4 quarts of applesauce in your crock pot, along with the spices and 1 1/2 cups sugar.  Set it on medium heat if your crock pot allows.  My pot only has high and low settings; I've tried both and the high works best for me.  How long you let it cook will depend on the power of your crock pot, how thick you like it, and if you stir it occasionally.  I do this first step overnight. 

3. Prop the lid up with two knives and let it cook for 6-12 hours.

Put the lid over the knives...this method allows some steam to escape.
4.  When the applebutter has cooked down to about half its original quantity, add two more quarts of applesauce and the rest of the sugar (or add sugar to taste).  Set on high and let the flavors combine for a couple hours, stirring occasionally.  I leave the lid off for this step; you may want to use a spatter guard if your crock pot tends to get really hot.  The finished applebutter shouldn't be too runny; you should be able to scoop some onto a spoon without it dripping everywhere.  If you let it get too thick, add a bit of apple juice and blend it in.

Apple butter ready to be canned.
5.  The next step is to can the applebutter; this recipe yields about 7 1/2 I process seven pints and put the extra bit in the fridge to enjoy right away.  If your apple butter isn't boiling, you'll want to bring it to a boil by placing it in a pot on the stove and carefully boiling it before you place it into your sterilized jars. 

6. Process pints of apple butter for 10 minutes using the boiling water method.  Be sure to adjust time for jar size and altitude, according to your canner manufacturer's instructions.

7.  Never canned before?  Click here for my post on canning.  It references the PickYourOwn website's canning instructions, which are thorough and well illustrated.

8.  Consume apple butter.  If you can spare some, it makes convenient, delicious, and inexpensive holiday gifts!


  1. So, where did you get your apples?

  2. Long story...the Enterprise I "gleaned" off the ground at a small orchard not far from here, and the Staymen I had to buy from a local farm that buys them for their store ($25/bushel). I'm thinking of hitting the farmers market today to see if any of the apple sellers are coming down in their prices, since the season is ending.

  3. Gleaning is the best!! Total score for you!

  4. I am going to link your apple butter recipe on FB. A bunch of my friends are asking for one & I have never made it before.

  5. Great! Let me know how it works out for you and your friends.

  6. Excellent! Your apple butter looks perfect! It's just a beautiful color!

  7. Thank you! Maybe my great-great-great grandkids, etc. will be making this someday. ;)