Easiest Slow Cooker Apple Butter

"No peeling, no coring! When you have a drawerful of old apples in the fridge this is a great way to still get use out of them. Quantities are not precise, adjust to taste. I use a slow cooker, food mill and stick blender. You can also do this on the stove, use a sieve/strainer and a blender it just takes longer and more babysitting."
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:
12hrs 15mins
32 1/4 C. servings




  • Estimate which slow cooker the drawerful of apples in the fridge will fit into. Note1: Wrinkled apples are not necessarily "bad". Granny Smiths can look nearly new but be mealy and browning under the skin (toss them), while Braeburn and especially Gala apples may look terrible, but the flesh is still unblemished and evenly colored. Cut out any bad spots, and often an apple browning on one side is fine on the other half. Use the other half. A slow cooker will hold this at 180F or higher for the first couple of hours, then at least 140 for a long time after that. After you cook, mill/sieve, season, cook and reduce by a third, there isnt much original apple shape left. Don't be obsessive. :-). Note 2: The flavor is in the peel, the pectin is in the core and the sugar is in the flesh. Don't peel or core the apples, just wash them, remove the stems and loose seeds, then cut out the "flower" parts opposite the stems, there tends to be powdery dirt and mold there.
  • re note 2: Wash the apples, quartering most of them. Pick out any loose seeds. Toss the quarters in the slow cooker. Quarter and add the others if it looks like they will fit, otherwise set them aside.
  • Set the cooker on high for at least an hour or two.
  • Quarter and add any apples that did not fit, forcing them below the surface. Cook on high an additional hour or two. Skip this step if there were no extras.
  • Place a food mill over a large bowl and ladle a portion of apples into it. Crank them through using downward force on the crank, reversing now and then to clear the screen. Pick out the seeds as you go. Repeat until all apples have been milled. You can use a sieve, but it will take a while. Discard the flakes of skin, seeds and stringy bits. Clean the mill IMMEDIATELY, the pulp is acidic and will stain the plating and rust any exposed steel.
  • Blend the "applesauce" smooth with the stick blender if it makes you feel good. Clean the blender too.
  • Dump them back into the slow cooker. Add: 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/8 - 1/4 tsp (scant) cloves, 1/2- 3/4 tsp cinnamon. Stir and taste. Cook on low for 8 - 12 hours. This should taste good with balanced flavors, but not strong. The seasoning will be concentrated as it cooks and you can adjust later. Note on sugar: Most recipes use double to triple the spices, then add somewhere between 1/2 cup to a full cup of sugar PER PINT of pulp. I suspect a lot of this sugar is to to preserve the butter in pre-refrigeration days and to counter the bitter undertaste of the spices. I tend to use less spice and little if any added sugar. You can always add more later.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning, remove lid and cook another 2-4 hours. Keep a close watch and stir the thickened/solids at the edges into the rest. The pulp will darken from an over-cinnamoned applesauce color to chocolate or dark chocolate brown.
  • Blend smooth with stick blender or that ice-crushing powered daiquiri pitcher on the counter.
  • Chill and eat. Great on crepes, good on toast and I'm told even on steak.

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  1. This is almost the same version I have made in my 3-1/2 qt crockpot & it was by far the best & easiest apple butter I have ever made....including years of making & canning it the old fashioned way! <br/>I have just a few slight changes tho: my recipe called for 2 cups sugar, 1/4 tsp salt & 3 tsp cinnamon (I usually add a bit more to taste) to the quantity of apples that filled the crockpot to the brim. I also just used whatever combination of apples I had in the fridge.....<br/>Thanks for posting the hints of the varieties to use or not to use!<br/> I core the apples, but don't peel them. After they cook down to a nice thick, dark mixture, I use an immersion blender to puree it smooth. That's all there is to it! <br/>You can't believe how wonderful the whole house smells while this is cooking!!!!



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