It is my belief that almost anything and everything can be cooker in a slow cooker. Of course, this includes apple butter. Not only does it give you a velvety smooth and flavorful condiment – it is also guaranteed to make your entire house smell amazing! Imagine coming home on a cold rainy day to a house smelling of warm apples and fall spices. God yes! And oh yes – cooking really does not get any easier!
Apple butter is again one of those things that we don´t have or know in Denmark and I was therefore only introduced to it through – you guessed it – my American fiancé Lance. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical to begin with. I imagined that apple butter could not be all that different from apple sauce, in which case why would anyone bother with the extra effort? After making this and having one single spoon lick (that quickly turned into several) I knew the difference instantly. Apple butter is so much thicker and velvetier than apple sauce. As I also added a few spices to mine, it is also much more flavorful! Many apple butter recipes call for a ton of sugar, which I think is a real shame. Why take something as good and healthy as apples and ruin the flavor by overpowering it with zero-benefits refined sugar? That is why I only used dates and apple cider as sweetener in this recipe. And trust me – it is plenty sweet – all while at the same time allowing the flavors of the apples and spices to shine through.
This stuff tastes amazing and is so versatile. From not having any idea what to do with apple butter before knowing what it was, I now cannot wait to add it to absolutely everything! I´m thinking apple butter oatmeal, lattes, chia puddings and even salad dressings! I also have an intense desire to go experimenting with some apple butter turnovers right this instant!
Anyways, before going to experiment with all the recipes that will require apple butter, I should first of all give you the actual apple butter recipe.
Slow cooker apple butter
Makes 2.5 cups
- 1 kg apples (2.2 lbs)
- 3/4 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Core and chop the apples. (I used an apple slicer which made this step very quick). Leave the skin on the apples. Not only does it save you some effort, it also gives you the most nutrient rich apple butter as most of the vitamins can be found in the peel
- Pour the apples into a slow cooker
- In a blender of foodprocessor combine dates, apple cider, lemon juice and spices. Process until smooth.
- Poor the blended dates over the apples in the slow cooker
- Slow cook on low for 10 hours, stirring once or twice in between to make sure the apples don´t burn on the bottom
- Once the apples are done slow cooking, pour the entire apple mixture into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
- Pour the apple butter back into the slow cooker. Now cook uncovered on high for an additional 2 hours. This will let some of the water evaporate and give you the thickest apple butter. Trust me. Don´t skip this step!
- Once done, pour into a jar and keep refrigerated for up to three weeks.
- I recommend using a mix of sweet and tart apples for the most flavorful butter. The more varieties, the more flavor!
- Next time, I think I might make a double batch and freeze half. You can never have too much apple butter and this way you can have it ready in a snap when you run out.
As an apple butter newbie (yes, there is such a thing) I´m curious to hear what your favorite ways of using apple butter are. Let me know in the comments below!