Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

August 31, 2021

Ideal Apples: As with applesauce, apple butter has a more complex, interesting flavor when a few different varieties of apples are used. Use the same apples as you would for applesauce (McIntosh, Cortland, Fuji, Braeburn, or Rome) or choose spicier varieties like Winesap.


Combine juice, sugars, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and vanilla in a 6-quart slow cooker. Peel, core, and thickly slice or chop apples; stir into juice mixture. Cook, covered, on low heat for 10 hours. Stir periodically.

Puree mixture with an immersion blender. If mixture is thinner than applesauce, uncover and cook on high heat until thick (mixture will thicken more once cool).

Prepare canning jars by sterilizing according to the manufacturer’s directions. Ladle apple butter into prepared jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims and apply lids and rings. Process jars in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars from canning pot and set aside to cool to room temperature. Jars will “ping,” which indicates that lids are sealed. The center of each lid will not flex up and down when pressed.

Recipe and photo provided by


1 cup unsweetened apple juice

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

5 pounds mixed variety of apples