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Homemade Apple Butter | An Overnight Slow-Cooker Recipe

Homemade Apple Butter | An Overnight Slow-Cooker Recipe
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Hand-made gifts are fantastic, but who has time, right? Well, this week I took to the airways to demonstrate a way to make a delicious handmade gift while you sleep! It’s my homemade apple butter, made overnight in a slow cooker. Here’s a video of me demonstrating the recipe on New England Cable News.

Cooking Apple Butter on NECN

Homemade Apple Butter

(from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook)

Ingredients for Homemade Apple Butter:
· 5 pounds (about 10 large) mixed apples, peeled, cored, and cut into medium-size pieces
· 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
· 1 whole star anise pod
· 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
· 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
· 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
· 2 cups fresh apple cider
· 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Method for Homemade Apple Butter:
1. Turn a slow cooker on high and add all ingredients. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Mixture should be bubbling vigorously. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour more. Remove and discard star anise pod.

The finished product

2. With the lid set slightly ajar, continue cooking until apple butter is dark brown and thick, 7 to 9 hours more. The longer it cooks, the darker and thicker it will be.  Stir well and pass through a food mill or strainer, if desired, to remove any lumps  (I skip this step). Sterilize canning jars by boiling in the large stock pot for ten minutes (do not boil lids or bands). Turn off the heat and leave jars in the water until ready to use. Wash lids and bands in hot, soapy water, then dry with clean paper towel. Use tongs to remove jars from water and divide apple butter among them, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace at top of each jar (see Note). Use tongs to put the lids on top of the jars, then use your hands to gently screw on the bands (don’t tighten all the way).

Processing the jars

3. Bring water in large stock pot or canner back to a boil and submerge filled jars, making sure they’re upright, for 10 minutes to seal. Transfer jars to a rack and let cool to room temperature. Check the seals after they cool; they should be tight. If the lids still pop when you press on them, refrigerate the apple butter and use within 3 weeks. Otherwise, screw the bands on completely and store. The sealed jars of homemade apple butter will keep for 8 to 10 months at room temperature. Yield: 6 pint jars or 12 1/2-pint jars

Stocked in My Pantry

Amy Traverso


Amy Traverso


Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American. Follow !
Updated Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

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2 Responses to Homemade Apple Butter | An Overnight Slow-Cooker Recipe

  1. Maureen January 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    This sounds so yummy, and with much less sugar than typical jams/spreads use.
    Has this ever been tried with other fruits like blueberries, strawberries, etc.? I’m hoping it has.


  2. Jacki Wilmot March 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    this looks great. Def going to make it for friends and storage in my pantry. thank you.

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