I've been making this for many years and love the ease of having apple butter in the off season. It isn't anywhere near the flavor of real apple butter, but it's a good substitute when you run out in May and can't wait until fall comes! Thanks for posting this one. I always use unsweetened applesauce and depending on what I have on hand I will sometimes sub pumpkin pie spice. When I'm in a hurry and want some NOW I'll cook this on the stove in a smaller batch in about an hour.
I made this before bedtime and the yummy smell woke us up about 4am. I used 8 cups of cheapo store-bought unsweetened applesauce and 6 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice mix. (I buy it in the bulk bin and always have it on hand) I somehow missed the part about cooking it in the crockpot WITHOUT the cover, so it was too runny when I first uncovered it in the morning. I turned it to low and left it cooking for another 7 hours while I was at work. It ended up just wonderful. Perfect texture and great taste, in spite of cooking so long. Gave 3 little jars away to office friends and they RAVED about the flavor.
This was very easy, and it seemed to make itself. I did think it was a bit to sweet so I may try using unsweetened applesauce next time. I used homemade applesauce which gave it a great flavor. I also turned the crock pot to low as I needed to run errands and was not able to can it until I got home. Worked great! thanks for sharing this.