Slow Cooker Apple Butter 911

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 15, 2011

I’ve always loved teaching.

When I was a young girl, I used to play school with my stuffed animals and any friends that I could trick into being a student in my class. I made an Attendance List (the students didn’t always show up on time!) and I taught math, writing, art, and deep life lessons from a 4th grader.

Turning to my stuffed duck “Quackers”, I would often say, “Quackers, why were you late for school this morning? I’m going to have to see you after class today.”

Sighing, I marked a big “L” beside his name.

“Jonathan and Annabel, please stop talking while the lesson is being taught.”


It wasn’t always roses and puppy dogs.


While I didn’t end up becoming a teacher, I do like to pretend I’m one on the blog. I also know when you’re skipping class!

But today, I’d like to be the student. And I think you can help…


I’m on a fruit butter making kick.

Earlier this week, I made my beloved pumpkin butter in a slow cooker and turned out wonderfully.


I’ve been spreading it on everything and mixing it into oatmeal. As soon as I see sugar pumpkins at the market, I will be making pumpkin butter from fresh pumpkins later this Fall.

After my pumpkin butter success, I decided to make apple butter. I’ve never made it before, but I absolutely LOVE it. I researched about 10 different apple butter recipes, trying to decide the best way to make it (there are a lot of methods!). I decided to go with the most popular apple butter recipe on All Recipes with 5 stars and 525 reviews. Although, without the 4 cups of white sugar…

I added fresh ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon sticks, 1/3 cup Sucanat, and a 1/4 cup of apple juice instead.

Then I bought 5 pounds of local, sweet apples!

It took me just 10 minutes to peel 5 pounds of apples. Not too shabby!


(That picture only shows half the apples)

I diced the apples. I added cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, apple juice, ground cloves, and a touch of Sucanat.

Mix in slow cooker:


I heated on high covered for 1 hour. I waited.

Then I turned the heat to low, still covered, and cooked for another 15 and 1/2 hours. I waited. I may have slept.


I came downstairs hoping to find thick and dark apple butter, but no such luck. I think it’s somewhere in between applesauce and apple butter right now!…


I’ve been cooking it on medium heat, uncovered, for a couple hours so far this morning.

And I’m praying for a miracle.

Anyone have any words of advice for me? Did I make it all wrong?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

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Kris March 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

I assume the apple butter is ready by now :-) For what it’s worth: the sugar you left out (so would I!) does the trick so maybe you would need to use a thickener like psyllium?


Mary September 29, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Your apple butter is looking lovely! I always start with making apple sauce on the stove top. I place apples (peeled and cored) in a large heavy sauce pan along with about an inch of water. I cook it on high until it really boils and then back down to medium with the lid on, stirring occasionally until they are cooked through. I then blend and transfer to a crockpot, I add spices desired, some orange zest, orange juice and sweetener. I cook for 12 to 16 hours on medium with the lid tilted or resting on some butter knives.


Angela Liddon October 3, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Thanks for sharing, Mary!


Lana October 13, 2016 at 7:45 am

I am having the same problem…did you figure it out


Monica Culberson November 5, 2016 at 9:40 am

I actually made apple butter for the first time yesterday. Pretty much the same recipie you used except I went with the sugar ;) after you show cook it for 12 hrs you need to use a blender or hand held blender to smooth it out.


Lori November 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

I am new to making apple butter, but from my short experience I’ve learned these things…it does take several hours in a slow cooker and I have 2. When I cook a batch in each at the same time, I will have an apple sauce consistency in one and huge chunks in the other all because one gets much hotter on low setting than the other. Of course the slower unit will eventually cook them down. But some units just get hotter faster even if both are set on low. Also some apples cook up better than others. Cortland apples cook up perfect. This year, I couldn’t get any, so I’m cooking Cameo apples. They are a little chunkier, but I like the texture. Cooking with lid ajar, or off at the end, will help it thicken up. Now. I’m going to try pumpkin butter. Thanks!


derek krueger September 16, 2017 at 1:34 am

I had the same problem with my first batch last year.But I found the cure !!!!! It tasted great but was runny and I followed a recipe that had hundreds of rave reviews. After putting it in jars and doing the water bath, when it cooled you could actually see the separation of juice at the bottom : (
I was very unhappy! I made a double batch of runny sweet tasting goop that would run right off the edge of my toast.Not good.
I looked at bunches of recipes online and after about 4 hours of mind bending internet reading I found the cure (at least it’s worked for me now 2 years in a row) !
I had been coring my apples before cutting into pcs. I found out the core area around the seed actually contains a natural chemical that works like pectin!
I made the next batch the same way as the first but left the cores in. After I cooked apples down into a mushy consistency I removed the apple mush and ran through a sieve attachment on my food processor to remove any seeds or course pieces from core. Then I put back in crock pot and cooked on low for another eight hrs without lid .
It came out thick dark and delicious. No more running off my toast or peanut butter sandwiches ! It was a little more work, but well worth it.


derek krueger September 16, 2017 at 1:43 am

OOPS,forgot to mention. After simmering for eight hrs put a couple TBSPs in a bowl and let chill in fridge until cool then test consistency. This will show you what your gonna end up with and let you know if you need to simmer longer. It will always be runnier when hot.
Hope this helps.


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