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Easy Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter

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In autumn when juicy, ripe apples start falling from the trees I know it’s time to make Easy Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter. This amazing sweet condiment is rich and dark in color, thick, yet creamy, and loaded with warm fall spices. 


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Not only is Easy Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter delicious, but it’s also naturally gluten-free! 

Ripe Apples

Years and years ago my parents planted apple trees on their farm and every fall these apple trees provide fresh apples for my entire family.  Sadly, through the years, several of their trees have died but they still have a Red Prince and a Jonathan apple tree. 

Apple Recipes

Grandma’s Favorite Apple Pie, Mulled Apple Cider, Healthy Apple Salad, Sticky Cinnamon Apple Pecan Pancakes, Old-Fashioned Double Dipped Caramel Apples are a few things we like to make using our fresh, organic apples. 

Homemade Apple Butter

Easy Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter is also high on our list of favorite ways to use apples. Not only is this a delicious condiment, but it also makes a fabulous DIY gift. I know first hand because I have given several jars away to neighbors, family, and friends already this year. 🙂

Okay. To make this homemade apple butter, start by peeling and chopping 5 pounds of fresh apples. (Sometimes I use a few more because I like to fill my crockpot.) Place the chopped apples into a 7 to 8-quart crockpot. (I used a mix of Red Prince and Jonathan apples but you can use your favorite variety of apple.)

(NOTE: Remember… you can always half the recipe to make a smaller batch!)

Sugar & Spice

Next, add the following sugars and spices to the crockpot:

Cook

Stir the apples, sugars, and spices together and cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 10 hours. After the apples begin to cook down it’s a good idea to stir the apples to ensure all of the apples get coated with the sugars and spices. 

Tender Apples

The apples will be soft and tender after the slow cooking process which means they will blend together beautifully. 

Puree 

Carefully puree the apples and the liquid together using a handheld immersion food blender. (This is the easiest way to puree the apples although you can use a blender or food processor and do small amounts at a time.)

Apple Butter

Congratulations! You just made apple butter! (Notice how the brown sugar and spices make the apple butter dark in color?) 

Applesauce vs Apple Butter

Although the mixture looks very similar to applesauce, apple butter is thicker in consistency and contains more spices than applesauce. 

Preservation

This year, as I previously mentioned, I gave the majority of my first batch of apple butter away to family, friends, and neighbors. The second batch I canned for personal use. 

I prefer to use half-pint canning jars although I do use pint canning jars as well. This recipe yields 14 – 16 half-pints or 7 – 8 pints of apple butter. (Depending on how many apples you use.) 

At this point, you can allow the apple butter to cool, then refrigerate and enjoy fresh apple butter. Or, you can divide the batch and place it into small food freezer containers and freeze for use later. 

Yet another option is to can the apple butter. Read on to see how. 

Filling the Jars

First, wash the jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and set them aside. Next, sterilize the canning jars by boiling them in hot water for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and keep the jars hot until you are ready to fill them. 

There’s no need to heat the screw bands, however, it’s best to put the canning lids in warm water to warm and soften the rubber seal. (Do not boil the lids! They only need to be warmed.) 

I also recommend using a canning funnel when placing the apple butter into the canning jars. It makes the whole process easier and less messy. 

Drips

As you can see in the photo above, even using a funnel it’s easy to get a drip of apple butter on the side of the jar. 

Clean the Surface

I use a clean paper towel to wipe away any water, drips, or debris from the rim of the jars.

Also, make sure there are no nicks in the rim of the jar. Any nick will prevent the jars from sealing properly which means the apple butter will eventually spoil. (NOTE: Before I sterilize my jars I slowly run my finger around the rim of the jars to check for nicks and discard any jar that has one.)

Work Quickly & Leave Space

Fill one canning jar at a time and leave approximately 1-inch of space between the apple butter and the top of the jar. This allows room for expansion and helps ensure a good seal.

Next, dry, center the lid onto the jar and screw a band on – just until snug. (Do not overtighten the band.)

Water Bath

To make sure the lids seal, return the filled jars to the hot water. The water level should be approximately 1-inch above the tops of the jars. Once again, bring the water to a full boil for 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit in the hot water for 5 minutes. Use canning tongs to remove the jars from the hot water and place them onto a clean, dry towel. 

Store

Allow the jars to cool to room temperature. As the lids seal you should hear a “popping” noise. If the lid is sealed properly, you should also see that the center of the lid is slightly indented. Carefully remove the bands and label/date the sealed jars. Store in a cool, dark place.

Refrigerate any unsealed jars of apple butter and use them within a few weeks’ time. 

Easy Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter
Yield: 14 - 16 Half Pint or 7 - 8 Pint

Easy Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 5 hours
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 7 hours

This homemade apple butter is fabulous slathered on warm biscuits or fresh rolls. It makes a wonderful DIY gift and it's naturally gluten-free!

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds apples, peeled and chopped (Sometimes I use a few more in order to fill up my crockpot)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1-3/4 granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon iodized salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

    1. Peel and chop 4-1/2 to 5 pounds of fresh apples. Place the chopped apples into a 7 to 8-quart crockpot.
    2. Sprinkle the apples with sugars and spices. Stir the apples, sugars, and spices together and cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 10 hours. (After the apples begin to cook down, stir the apples to ensure all of the apples get coated with the sugars and spices.) 
    3. After the allowed cooking time, puree the mixture with a handheld immersion blender. (This is the easiest way to puree the apples although you can use a blender and do small amounts at a time.)
    4. At this point, you can allow the apple butter to reach room temperature, then refrigerate and enjoy the fresh apple butter. Or, you can divide the batch and freeze in small food freezer containers and freeze for use later. Yet another option is to can the apple butter. (Please refer to the blog post for canning directions.)

Thanks for sharing! 

Enjoy! 

Linda

More great ideas: 

gluten free appetizer

Thanks for sharing!

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