Apple Butter: The Ideal Holiday Spread


(Graphic by Justin McKee)

Until I found this recipe I didn’t know apple butter could be made in a Crock Pot. My slow cooker is probably my favorite appliance next to my rice cooker and I try to use it as often as I can.

Though I like apple butter, my other half is pretty gaga over it, so I thought I’d try to make some for him. I did some research and decided to take a recipe I found and add a small twist: using two different kinds of apples.

First of all, the smell of my apartment while this was cooking was divine. I wish I could bottle it up! It definitely helped make my place a bit cozier when you add the Christmas decorations on a dark evening.

I used mostly Gala apples, but threw in a couple of large Honey Crisps. I honestly don’t know if that will make a difference in the outcome in terms of flavor, but I figured it couldn’t hurt.

IMG_5210_1My 2-qt. Crock Pot was about 3/4 of the way full when I began cooking them down, and after they reduced I was left with about 1/4 left in the pot and the mixture was pretty watery. During the final hours of cooking on high, leave the lid off or half off. This will allow steam to escape and cause the mixture to thicken.

I like my apple butter smooth instead of chunky, so a quick blend helped removed lumps.

IMG_5214_1From what I saw looking at a few different recipes, making apple butter isn’t an exact science. Cooking times varied significantly, so just keep an eye on it and do what works for you. Make sure to stir often, too.

Here’s the recipe I used:


  • 8-10 small apples or 4-5 large apples
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice


  • Peel, core and chop apples into similar sized cubes; place in large bowl or directly into slow cooker
  • Add water, cinnamon and allspice. Blend well.
  • Cook in slow cooker on low for about 6 hours, then on high for about 2 hours with the lid propped open. Stir often.
  • If desired, puree in blender or food processor for smooth texture.
  • Allow apple butter to cool. Seal in airtight container and refrigerate until use.

Toasty Platter MatterI’m pretty happy with the way my first apple butter attempt came out! I’m sure it won’t take too long for it to disappear. Maybe next time I’ll try some different types of apples or even add something else to enhance it a bit more.

I think something like this would make a great gift for friends and family members during the holidays. Likely you already have the ingredients needed, and if you don’t, it’s inexpensive to make even in large batches.

Apple butter is great on toast, bagels, crackers and more! I won’t even judge you if you eat spoonfuls straight from the jar.

Do you make apple butter? What types of apples do you use? What are your tricks to making the best spread?




About Karin

Journalist, singer, reader, movie fanatic, photography buff, GVSU alum, wanna-be-Brit, Crohn's fighter, Coca-Cola addict, animal lover, not a kid person, hater of winter, Michigander
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2 Responses to Apple Butter: The Ideal Holiday Spread

  1. Nicole says:

    I might have to try this! You know, Mark and I “won” a giant old-school apple butter kettle that his family used to make huge batches with when he was a kid. We had the most kids, so we get to keep the kettle. Ha!

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