Frugal Foodie Mama: Homemade Apple Butter in the Crock Pot

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homemade Apple Butter in the Crock Pot


Other than pumpkin flavored everything, nothing says fall more to me than some good, spiced apple butter.  Every fall a church close to my parents' house makes apple butter the slow, old fashioned way- outdoors, in cast iron kettles, over an open fire.  It is a tradition.  And quite literally some of THE BEST apple butter I have ever had.  Even when I lived out of state and couldn't make it back home when the annual apple butter was being made, my mother always went down and picked up a jar or two for me. ;)
This past week I had apples.  Like quite a few, and they were not going to stay good for too much longer.  I needed to do a little something with them.  Yes, I could have made an apple pie or maybe a crisp, but I have already done that at least 3 times so far this season. I needed a new idea.  And that is when I came across this recipe for a Crockpot Apple Butter from Cooking with K.  I had to make some of my own adjustments to it, but mainly based my recipe on hers. (By the way, take a few moments and peruse Cooking with K....  I guarantee you that a pinning frenzy will ensue. ;) )

What you will need:
8-10 apples- peeled, cored, and chopped (I used Cortlands.)
3/4 cup of apple juice (I did not have cider on hand, so I just upped my spices a little.)
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
3 whole cinnamon sticks (I am running low on ground cinnamon, but have a ton of cinnamon sticks in my pantry for some reason. :) )

This recipe is incredibly easy.  I mean, SUPER easy. Toss the chopped apples in the Crock Pot.  Then pour in the apple juice.  Dump in the brown sugar and the ground spices and then stir to mix.  Add your cinnamon sticks to the mixture.  Turn your Crock Pot on low and cook for 6-8 hours.  Every hour or so, stir the mixture to make sure the cinnamon is getting in there well.

After about 7 hours of slow cooking, this is what mine looked like ^^^.  Remove the cinnamon sticks and then blend the mixture in the Crock Pot.  If you have one of those fancy emulsion hand blenders, you can use that.  I just used my hand mixer. ;)  Blend it until it is the consistency that you prefer.

I opted to can my apple butter.  You could just put the butter into glass jars and refrigerate, but you would have to use it all within 2 weeks if you went that route.  
I canned mine by running my jars through the dishwasher right before I was ready to can the apple butter, and filled them while they were still hot.  I did a quick boil on my lids and rings.
I filled each jar leaving about a 1/2 inch of space at the top.  Make sure you use a non-metallic utensil to stir the butter and removed any air bubbles.  Once filled, put the lids on the jars and then the rings.  Only tighten the rings slightly.
Process in a water bath of slow boiling water for 15-20 minutes.  Allow the jars to sit in the water bath about 5 minutes after the processing is finished.  (You should start hearing those pings now! ;) )  
Let the jars rest on a dish towel or cooling rack on your counter for about 24 hours.  
This recipe made approximately 7-8 (4 oz.) jars.

Be looking for a recipe later this week that you can use your homemade apple butter in... :)

How about you?  What seasonal foods tell you that fall is officially here?

22 comments :

  1. Last night I turned the last of the apples we picked into an apple crisp. It was delish, but now I'm regretting it. It's cold and rainy here today. The smell of apple butter in the crock pot would be perfect!

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    1. Oh mannnnn!!! Just an excuse to run and get more apples, right?? ;)

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  2. I plan on making some tonight! I am so excited!

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  3. Oh, I need to try this! My husband loves apple butter and I have yet to try making it!

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  4. I love apple butter! And this would be such a great hostess gift! It's so cute in the jars!

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    1. I am keeping some jars around just for that very purpose. ;)

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  5. I just did crock pot Apple butter and it was fantastic!

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  6. I am making this ASAP! Thanks for the recipe!

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  7. That looks absolutely delicious! I've never heard of apple butter but would love to try it!

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    1. Apple butter is heaven in a jar. You can spread it on pancakes (like I did tonight, lol!), waffles, biscuits. Heat up a little and serve it over vanilla ice cream with some chopped pecans. You can even do some sweet-savoy dishes with it. In fact I have such a recipe that will be going up on the blog Thursday. ;)

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  8. I love apple butter! I just made some this weekend too, though I just made it on the stove top ;) You may want to look into whether or not its is safe to can apple butter made from the crock pot. I'm not sure the temperature a crockpot reaches is high enough. An idea for remedying this would be to make it in the crockpot then transfer it to the stove top and bring to a boil for 10 minutes then fill the jars and process them. Just a thought :)

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    1. I looked up a few things on canning apple butter made in the Crock Pot before I did it. No one mentioned bringing it to a boil on the stove top. This is one of the posts that I went by...
      http://www.simplycanning.com/canning-apple-butter.html
      But it definitely couldn't hurt to do that in addition to the slow cooker! :) Thanks for the tip!

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  9. OMG this looks so good, Carrie! I absolutely LOVE apple butter. :)

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  10. Yessss! Thank you for this, Carrie! You know I'm obsessed with apple recipes right now and I need some yummy apple butter in my life. :) xo

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  11. This looks delicious & so easy....great for gifts at Christmas too! I am a new follower and just pinned this on Pinterest! I hope you follow me back!

    Thanks,
    Jenn
    couponcalimom.blogspot.com

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  12. I will be making this next weekend!! I remember my great grandmother making apple butter she would can it, and give me 6 to take back home each summer, I loved to eat it every day! Brings back memories!

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  13. Carrie! I am DROOLING! your posts are just making me into a slobbering mess! and who doesn't love canning?? apples + canning = good. i'm loving it!

    thank you for sharing your post with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! I hope to see you again this week with more incredible seasonal and whole/real fresh food ideas :) xo, kristy

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  14. One word: delicious!
    I would love to have you join my new link party Wednesday Extravaganza! Come by and share this or other recipes. Here is the link
    http://www.hungrylittlegirl.com/1/post/2012/10/wednesday-extravaganza.html

    Can't wait to see you there!

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  15. Thanks for the recipe!! I have made it twice now and everyone in my household loves it. My 2 yr old twins absolutely love it as well and I figure if they eat it then I must be doing something right!!!

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  16. So going to make this....I love homemade apple butter....and my crockpot will bring things to a boil too...

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