An easy slow cooker apple butter with no sugar added recipe that doesn’t require any peeling and doesn’t use any added sweeteners or juice!
I'm actually pretty OK that it's Monday this week.
The weekend felt gloriously long. We had a fall festival at M's school on Friday night and it was fun to see her run around with her new kindergarten friends.
We had lots of rain from the hurricane on Saturday but ran some errands, made some crafts, played some music and ended with a movie night for the kids (a rare treat). Yesterday we soaked in the glorious sunshine and got lots of fresh, fall air playing outside.
Plus, tonight I get to go to the Panthers football game with my Dad! So Monday is looking OK to me -- also a rare treat 😉
And on to today's recipe... a slow cooker apple butter with no sugar added. It's so easy, so perfectly sweet and so appropriate for slathering on everything this fall.
I actually didn’t know until I made apple butter for the first time years ago that there’s not any butter in it. It’s just a very concentrated apple spread that’s smooth and rich and spreadable, like butter.
My first batch was using some apples my parents brought back for me from the North Carolina mountains one weekend. There were all different kinds, mostly varieties I hadn’t heard of because you can’t buy them in a regular store.
So, if you can get your hands on some local apples, go to town. If not, just buy any mix of good baking apples you like (I usually use Gala but Red Delicious, Braeburn, Jonagolds, Melrose, Rome and even Honey Crisp will work.)
You might also want to try this easy crockpot applesauce, which my kiddos love and is super easy to make.
Oh, and you can also check out my Google web story for this slow cooker apple butter recipe.
OK, let’s get to cooking.
Now, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up below on how to make apple butter. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making slow cooker apple butter:
- Apples: I typically use Gala apples or a combination of Gala and Red Delicious. Any sweet, cooking apple will work. (Braeburn, Jonagolds, Melrose, Rome and even Honey Crisp are also good options.)
- You want sweet apples for this since we’re not using any sugar. If your apples aren’t very sweet, I would consider adding ¼ cup to ½ cup sugar (brown or white, or a mix) to your slow cooker to sweeten these up.
- Overnight: You can cook this overnight in the slow cooker, blend it in the morning and finish cooking it for the last couple of hours.
- Final cooking: Be sure to check and stir the apple butter while it’s on high at the end of the cooking time so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of your slow cooker. Mine never has, but it’s a possibility.
- Spices: You can omit the cloves and allspice if you want a plain, un-spiced version of slow cooker apple butter no sugar added. (You’ll still have the cinnamon for plenty of flavor.)
And maybe the best part, besides eating it?
As this is cooking away for you, your house will start to waft apple flavors and cinnamon flavors and deep, warm, comforting spices to you. It's divine.
Ways to use homemade apple butter:
- Slather it on some toast or an English muffin in the morning. It also goes great with bagels, muffins, waffles, pancakes… you get the idea.
- Try it on sweet potato toast for a fun fall treat.
- It's also great paired with pork, like these pork chops with apple butter.
- Pack some up in small glass jars and freeze for later.
- Or, give them away to friends, neighbors, teachers or as a hostess gift during the holidays.
My Dad is particularly fond of apple butter and likes to bring me back the empty glass jars so I’ll refill them for him again. And again. And again. 😉
Also, since this makes a big batch, let's discuss storage.
How to store leftover apple butter:
- Apple butter, once cooled, can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 months.
- You can also freeze the leftovers. Place in a freezer-safe container, that's been labelled, and freeze for up to 6-8 months.
- Or you could also can this apple butter for storage. Just follow the instructions for your canning equipment.
Cheers to fall and continuing our trend of ALL things apple, with some pumpkin thrown in for good measure 😉
Have a great week and enjoy!
- 5 lbs. apples (about 7 medium apples)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ cup water
- Core and roughly chop the apples. (You can leave the peel on.)
- Place apples in slow cooker and add spices and water.
- Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours.
- Use an immersion blender — or transfer apple mixture to a blender - and blend until smooth.
- Reset slow cooker to high and continue cooking for two more hours. Leave the lid partially open to allow some moisture to escape (this helps thicken the mixture). Stir every 30-45 minutes to ensure the apple butter doesn’t burn on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Let cool and store apple butter in the refrigerator.
Apples: I've used all Gala apples and a combination of Gala and Red Delicious apples. Other good baking apples such as Braeburn, Jonagolds, Melrose, Rome and even Honey Crisp will work as well.
You want sweet apples for this since we’re not using any sugar. If your apples aren’t very sweet, I would consider adding ¼ cup to ½ cup sugar (brown or white, or a mix) to your slow cooker to sweeten these up.
Overnight: You can definitely cook this overnight in the slow cooker, then blend it in the morning and finish cooking it for the last couple of hours.
Ways to use: Use apple butter on toast, English muffins, bagels, fresh bread, pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc. Or try pork chops with apple butter for a fun fall dinner.
Leftovers: Apple butter can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 months. It can also be frozen for up to 6-8 months. I like to use small glass jars, but any freezer-safe container will work. Be sure to label and date your container. You could can the extra as well; just follow the instructions with your canning equipment.
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Serving Size:2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 50Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 0g