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Our family just loves apple butter and it’s one of the easiest “jams” to make, that is if you make easy slow cooker apple butter! Apple butter reminds me of a spreadable apple pie, yum!
Traditionally apple butter was cooked for a long time in cast iron kettles over an open fire. It requires a lot of watching and stirring to keep from burning.
Honestly, I love that, but I’m a busy mom with a large family so I would much rather use my Nesco electric roaster or crock pot to help make cooking down the apple butter easier.
After all, if I don’t have to babysit it as much I can be making my favourite chunky applesauce recipe and apple jelly while my butter is cooking down into a yummy, sticky jam that is just perfect on a biscuit on the cold winter mornings.
Easy Slow Cooker Apple Butter
- Apple peeler corer slicer
- Nesco electric roaster or crockpot
- Hand mixer
- Canning jars
- Canning jar lids and rings
- Jar lifters
- Canning funnel
- Water bath canner
- Apples – 1/2 a bushel (about 24 pounds) filled my Nesco roaster, about 6 pounds will fill my 7 qt crock pot.
- 2 cups Brown sugar (optional) you can also use white sugar. If your apples are really sweet or you’re on diet restrictions you can skip the sugar.
- 2 Tbs cinnamon
- 1 Cup water
Start off by washing your apples well, then peeling and slicing them. I love to use this handy gadget to do the peeling, coring, and slicing for me it makes fast work of the job!
Fill your Nesco roaster to the top with sliced apples and add 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon. Then add just a little water to keep the bottom from sticking, about 1 cup is enough for me.
Put the lid on the roaster and cook at 350 F until the apples are tender. Make sure to stir the apples every 20-30 minutes or so to keep them from burning on the sides.
Once the apples are very soft mash them up with a potato masher and turn the heat down to 300 F. Allow the apples to continue cooking until they are soft enough to puree like applesauce. You can use a stick blender or simply use an electric egg beater!
Blend your apples until they are very smooth. Then give the sauce a taste and adjust the sugar and cinnamon to your liking.
Tilt the lid of the roaster so the steam can easily escape and continue cooking the applesauce for another 3 to 4 hours. Try to check it every half hour or so to stir it up to prevent burning. I haven’t had any problems with mine burning but you’d hate to lose a batch from not checking.
Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Alternatively, you can turn the temperature down to the slow cook setting and just let it cook slowly overnight. Cooking your apple butter at a slower temperature overnight will make sure that it doesn’t burn and it will be all finished by morning. It’s an amazing smell to wake up to!
You’ll know your apple butter is ready when it’s turned a nice brown colour and is very thick. A good old fashion guideline is to take a spoon and stand it up in the middle of the apple butter. If it can stand on its own without falling over it’s done!
How To Freeze Apple Butter
Now it’s time to preserve that delicious apple butter so you can enjoy it all year.
If you’re going to freeze it simply let the apple butter fully cool down. Then ladle it into small plastic storage containers or canning jars. Make sure to leave some headroom for expansion and cover and freeze.
How To Can Apple Butter
Canning your homemade apple butter so so easy to do and it’s a great way to enjoy it all year. Don’t forget to can some extra apple butter to share as gifts too.
Fill your canning jars with hot apple butter and leave 1/4 inch of headroom.
Run a spatula around the inside edge of the jar to remove any air bubbles and then wipe the jar rims clean, add the lids and rings.
Process in your water bath canner for 10 minutes or according to your altitude.
When the time is up, remove the jars from the canner and place them on a towel. Allow the jars to sit undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours so the seal can set well.
Any jars that haven’t sealed after 24 hours should be placed in the fridge to use first or can be processed.
- 1/2 bushel of apples (for Nesco roaster) or 6 lb for Crock Pot
- 2 Cups brown sugar (optional)
- 2 TBS cinnamon
- 1 Cup water
- Wash the apples than peal, core and slice.
- Fill your Nesco roaster or Crock Pot with sliced apples. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and 1 cup of water.
- In your Nesco roaster Cook at 350 F until the apples are tender, in a slow cooker use the high setting, stir every 30 minutes. When the apples are very soft puree them using a stick blender or hand blender.
- Continue cooking the apple puree at 300 - 350 F for 3 to 4 hours or turn down to the slow cook setting and cook for 6 to 8 hours.
- The apple butter is done when it's dark brown and thick. Test by standing a spoon up in the center of the pan. If it stands on it's own it's ready!
How To Can Apple Butter
- Fill your canning jars with hot apple butter and leave 1/4 inch of head room.
- Run a spatula around the inside edge of the jar to remove any air bubble and then wipe the jar rims clean, add the lids and rings.
- Process in your water bath canner for 10 minutes or according to your altitude.
- When the time is up remove the jars from the canner and place them on a towel. Allow the jars to sit undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours so the seal can set well.
- Any jars that haven’t sealed after 24 hours should be placed in the fridge to use first or can be processed.
Kim Mills is a homeschooling mom of 6 and lives on an urban homestead in Ontario, Canada. Blogging at Homestead Acres she enjoys sharing tips to help you save money, grow and preserve your own food.