An old-fashioned sweet condiment becomes a late summer and early autumn treasure. Slow Cooker Apple Butter couldn’t be easier.
The limbs of the apple trees are becoming heavy with fruit, shiny and beautiful red globes of sweetness.
I couldn’t help but stop our car on the country road leading back to my parents’ house and capture the essence of the season.
Yet apple butter stands alone. Like a category unto itself.
It’s cozy and homey, invoking life as it used to be. Remembrances of grandma’s apple butter, so sweet and cinnamony, I can still taste it.
The best part? It’s incredibly easy in a slow cooker!
Just imagine waking up to the sweet aroma of baked apples on any given morning… that’s what happens when you make slow cooker apple butter.
A Little Apple Butter History
Abundant with apples, colonial Americans looked for ways to preserve and enjoy the fruit. Well into the 19th century, apple butter was a favorite standard.
The term “butter” refers only to the thick, soft consistency and is used most often as a spread for bread and toast, but also as a side dish, or as an added ingredient in baked goods.
The Pennsylvania Dutch often include apple butter as part of their traditional seven sweets and seven sours dinner table array.Print
An Old-Fashioned Autumn Treasure: Slow Cooker Apple Butter
An old fashioned sweet condiment becomes a late summer and early autumn treasure. Slow Cooker Apple Butter couldn’t be easier.
- 12 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks (I love to use a combination of apples that include; Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Gala)
- 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
Combine the ingredients into a 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 hours, overnight is a perfect time and it’s a wonderful aroma to wake up to. Or cook on HIGH for 4 hours, to speed it up a bit. Stir as needed.
After 10 hours on LOW (or 4 hours on HIGH), uncover and stir. If cooked on LOW, increase temperature to HIGH. Cook uncovered for an additional 2 hours more or until the apples are very tender, it has thickened and becomes dark brown. Process with an immersion blender or press mixture through a fine sieve.
Cool apple butter about an hour before ladling into half-pint freezer containers or into refrigerator containers. Apple butter will keep in the refrigerator for a week or the freezer for up to a year.
Makes 4 half pints.
Apple butter is wonderful served on toast or English muffins, as a condiment to chicken or pork, or even on deli sandwiches. Try it with your next turkey sandwich!