May 012008
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Tammy: Making apple butter is a fall tradition in a lot of areas. People haul out a BIG copper kettle, put it over a fire and make apple butter in it. I was looking for a scaled down, easier way to make apple butter. So I tried my mom’s recipe in my slow cooker. Worked like a charm!! Most apple butter recipes have cloves in them, but they can be too strong for a lot of people, kids included. My mom modified her recipe so it doesn’t use cloves, but is still very flavorful. Because the copper kettle gives apple butter its rich, dark color, you won’t get that from your slow cooker. But it will still taste wonderful!
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8 C.

16 C.

24 C.

32 C.

40 C.

48 C.

Cooking apples

8 lbs.

16 lbs.

24 lbs.

32 lbs.

40 lbs.

48 lbs.


1-2/3 C.

3-1/3 C.

5 C.

6-2/3 C.

8 C.

9-2/3 C.


1-1/4 t.

2-1/2 t.

1 T. + 3/4 t.

1 T. + 2 t.

2 T. + 1/4 t.

2 T. + 1-1/2 t.


1/2 t.

1 t.

1-1/2 t.

2 t.

2-1/2 t.

1 T.


1/2 t.

1 t.

1-1/2 t.

2 t.

2-1/2 t.

1 T.


Assembly Directions:
Slice each apple into 8-10 pieces. Core and peel the pieces, putting them in the slow cooker as you go. When it’s about half full of apples, turn it on low. When the crock is full, turn it on high, and put the lid on. Cook on high for 5 hours. Stir every hour or so. Some types of cooking apples tend to burn more than others… if your apples start sticking to the sides of the crock and burning, you’ll need to stir it every 20 minutes or so. After 5 hours, the apples should be cooked down by about half. Add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Stir to mix, and continue cooking on high for about 3 more hours, without the lid. This will allow the mixture to thicken, as the excess liquid will boil off. It will have the texture of thick applesauce. Turn the slow cooker off and allow the apple butter to cool. You can put the apple butter in the refrigerator overnight if you need to.

Freezing Directions:
Put about 3 C. of the cooled apple butter in a blender, and process until smooth. Pour into clean pint or half-pint jars, or rigid containers. Make sure to leave about 1” head space at the top of the jar or container so there’s room for expansion. Seal, label and freeze.

Serving Directions:
Thaw jar or container overnight in the refrigerator.

I have a 6-quart slow cooker, and a single recipe fills my cooker to the top with raw apples. If you have a 5 or 5-1/2 quart slow cooker, you can still make this recipe. Put as many apples in the crock as it will hold with the lid still fitting. When the apples have cooked down some, add more, until all the apples have been added.

I have made 2 batches of this recipe so far. The first batch I used Jonathan apples. The second batch I couldn’t get Jonathans, so I used Rome apples. The Jonathan apples burned easier, so I had to stir it more often. The Rome apples made a darker color apple butter than the Jonathans. The Rome apples were evidently sweeter, because I only needed 1 C. of sugar for that batch. Whatever kind of apples you end up using, you may want to add only part of the sugar and all of the spices. Stir and then taste it to see if you need more sugar or not. I tried using a hand mixer in the crock of apple butter to even out the texture, but it didn’t make a difference. I had to put it in the blender to get rid of the applesauce texture, and get the smooth texture that apple butter should have.

Nutritional Info: Slow Cooker Apple Butter – 2 tablespoon serving
Per Serving: 51 Calories; trace Fat (3.1% calories from fat); trace Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; trace Sodium.
Exchanges: 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Carol Santee

Carol is the co-author of the Big Book of Freezer Cooking and the author of 30 Day Gourmet’s Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites, Freezer Lunches To Go and Healthy Freezer Cooking eBooks. She is a computer information specialist and works for a computer software company.

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