Amish Crock Pot Apple Butter

Apple butter takes me right back to Lancaster, Pennsylvania Amish country where I first sampled this thick, spice infused goodness.  The laundry, hung out to dry, gently swayed in the wind next to rows and rows of corn that summer morning. A buggy driven by a stately man dressed in all black with the Amish style beard waved as he rode by.  I couldn’t help but feel that I had stepped back into time, and for a moment I, too, was an Amish woman, getting ready for my morning chores and the barn raising later that afternoon.

For those 5 minutes, I really thought I’d try to fall in love with an Amish man and join this simpler, peaceful way of life.  I have this strange fascination with the Amish, and I kind of want to be one…. because they love each other so well, they help one another, they hold to unwavering faith, and best of all, they make amazing apple butter.
But then I remembered my iPhone and gas fireplace, and decided that Amish living is best lived from afar.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t fully enjoy their recipes and down-home style of cooking.  While there are many recipes I love from Amish country, this apple butter is at the top of my list – I just changed it a bit to accommodate the good ol’ crock pot!
Traditional apple butter recipes often call for homemade applesauce to begin the recipe.  If you’ve ever made homemade applesauce, it’s hard work, and reducing the liquid gold down to apple butter steals the valuable contents.  This recipe is made from the whole apples directly, so there isn’t that extra (hard) step of turning it to applesauce ahead of time.   That’s a big deal to those of us who deal in homemade apple goodness.

Step 1:  Find the best apples available (preferably locally farmed and picked)

We are incredibly blessed in the inland northwest to have Green Bluff right in our backyard.  This is a swath of rich land filled with orchards, pumpkins, and local farms. They are known for some of the best apples in the country.  Picking apples on the Bluff is a beloved tradition for countless families in our area.

Step 2:  Peel (optional), core, and slice the apples

I often don’t peel the apples for the nutritional value.  The skin has the most nutrients.  However, you will get a less rustic, more smooth butter if you peel them first.

Step 3:  Place ingredients in the crock pot, cook, then puree.

Let cook for 8-10 hours.  Remember that apples have varying water content depending on type and soil conditions each year.  You may need to cook it more or less depending on your apples.  Go for consistency.  I puree my mixture when it has been in the crock pot for around 10 hours – you can do this with an immersion blender or just transfer the mixture to a blender.  I cool a sample size and look at consistency.  Cook it until it has the texture you like best.  I like it to be thick, but still able to drip from a knife.

Step 4:  Adjust seasonings or sweetness and ladle into jars

You may prefer your butter a bit spicier, or sweeter.  Go ahead and adjust the seasonings to your liking then ladle into clean jars.  From this point you can either can them in a water bath or put them in the freezer.  If you freeze your jars, be sure to leave enough headspace so the jars won’t overflow or explode.
 
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Amish Crock Pot Apple Butter

Enjoy this delicious fall favorite inspired by my time spent in Amish country.

  • Author: Krista Gilbert

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs. mixed variety apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 3/4 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in the crock pot and mix well. Cook on the high setting for 1-2 hours, stirring periodically. Turn the crock to low and cook 7-8 more hours. Puree with an immersion blender, or an upright blender for a smooth consistency.

Notes

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50 comments… add one
  • Pat Parson September 4, 2014, 11:53 am

    How many jars does this make,and also how long in water bath? Thank you.

    • Krista September 5, 2014, 7:21 pm

      I do 10 minutes in the water bath. It makes about 6-8 jars depending on how much it reduces in your crock pot. have fun!

      • Trish June 27, 2016, 5:34 am

        What size jars for 6-8?

        • Krista July 1, 2016, 4:15 pm

          The pint jars would be the best size for that, Trish! Enjoy the recipe!

  • Pat Parson September 7, 2014, 10:52 am

    Can this recipe be doubled if the crock pot is large enough?

  • Pat June 29, 2016, 10:20 pm

    Do you leave lid on slow cooker or take it off?

    • Krista July 1, 2016, 4:16 pm

      Hi there! Leave the lid on. It provides the “steam” it needs! Happy cooking!

  • teri shewmaker August 24, 2016, 2:57 pm

    how big was the crock pot

    • Krista September 23, 2016, 5:48 am

      Hi Teri! Mine is a Costco- sized crock pot, but any crock pot will work!

  • Eileen September 12, 2016, 2:29 am

    After 10 hrs. I had a lot of liquid. Removed the liquid by hand and was left with two pints of excellent apple butter. Does it require longer cooking. Followed recipe as printed. Used a six qt. crock pot and gala apples.

    • Krista September 23, 2016, 5:47 am

      As you probably found out, the type of apple you use, and the condition and size of your crock pot matters. If it doesn’t set up, that means the waters had a high water content, or your crock pot doesn’t run as hot as mine (very plausible – crock pots can be like ovens – temps vary). Just leave the mixture in there until the liquid is gone – but it sounds like your trouble shot it well!

      • MICHELLE Mendoza October 6, 2017, 8:37 pm

        Mine still has 2 hrs to go. Smells awesome! I did notice a lot of liquid still. After the time is up, I am going to offset the lid the let some of the liquid evaporate off. Can’t wait to try it

        • Krista October 11, 2017, 5:00 am

          Yes, you may need to add a little time to yours! Hope it went OK – how does it taste??

  • Tina Jockisch September 15, 2016, 3:58 pm

    I made this apple butter recipe…I put mine in a Water bath.. how long does it take to setup?

    • Krista September 23, 2016, 5:46 am

      It depends on your heat and your size of pot – but, most of the time 10 min. in a water bath. Good luck!!!!

  • Shelly October 26, 2016, 6:12 pm

    I’m very intrigued as I, too, am fascinated by the Amish! I stop by their booths at the markets every chance I get, love the pickles! I’ve done some apple butter crockpot recipes, but have never seen one that adds any liquid – I’m concerned that the cider will make it too runny. I guess you haven’t found that to be the case?

    • Krista October 30, 2016, 3:50 pm

      Hi Shelly! Some people have if their crock pot is not hot enough or the apples are a really high water content. I use Jonagold apples and it works great.

  • Jessica January 8, 2017, 4:12 am

    I used Red and Golden Delicious the first time. Now I am using Rome and Golden Delicious. Wish me luck!

    • Krista April 4, 2017, 7:50 pm

      Way to go Jessica! Isn’t it delicious?

  • Kelly January 11, 2017, 8:16 pm

    I don’t know if I have that many jars to put it in and I live by myself. Can I half the recipe and still use a 5 – 6qt. crock pot?

    • Krista April 4, 2017, 7:50 pm

      Yes you absolutely can half the recipe. Good luck!

  • Brittany February 6, 2017, 3:40 pm

    I followed your recipe and every step. My apple butter is still very thin and runny. Tastes great but not thickening up at all. Any suggestion.

    • Krista November 10, 2017, 10:05 pm

      Sorry to hear that! did you try increasing the cooking time? I have a dutch oven crock and when I need something to reduce quickly, I stick it in that in the oven at about 300 degrees. Try that maybe?

  • Donna August 2, 2017, 7:28 pm

    I am cooking this at this moment. Should be ready about 8 p.m. I recently moved to a small town and learning how to can jelly and vegetables. My daughter remembers her grandmother’s home made Apple butter and wanted me to make her some. I was told it takes hours of cooking on the stove. I no longer have much air conditioning so that was a resounding no at least until cooler weather. Then i found your crock pot recipe so my daughter is going to get to remember her grandma while eating applebutter. At least i hope it turns out good. Thank you.

    • Krista September 28, 2017, 2:50 pm

      I love this! Bringing tradition (and the memory of Grandma) back through food is a gift!!!

  • Donna August 3, 2017, 4:39 am

    Update- This recipe is amazing. It turned out great. It made 5 half pints. And tasted amazing. I used gala, and red and golden delicious apples.

    • Krista September 28, 2017, 2:48 pm

      I’m so glad Donna! Blessings to you!

  • Stephanie October 7, 2017, 2:44 pm

    Any suggestions on how to make it sugar free (or no sugar added)?

    • Krista October 11, 2017, 4:59 am

      Hi Stephanie – I’ve gone to no sugar for my jams and I buy the no-sugar pectin. I think you would need to add a little of that to make it “set.” This might be a good challenge for me this year to figure this out! Let me know if you have any success.

  • Michele October 11, 2017, 1:33 am

    If you plan to use an immersion blender, you can leave the apples unpeeled. The peelings soften with the cooking and disappear in the blending process.

    • Krista October 11, 2017, 4:58 am

      fantastic tip Michele! Thank you!!!!

  • Jessica October 15, 2017, 12:17 pm

    Can this recipe be made on the stove top??? My crock pot just broke!!

    • Krista October 27, 2017, 1:45 am

      Hi Jessica! Yes, I’m sure that would work – or a cast iron pot in the oven would as well. Just make sure to babysit it so it doesn’t burn 🙂

  • Rosie October 18, 2017, 1:56 am

    I have my own apples Honey Crisp. Would they be good to make apple butter? Would u cut back on sugar?

    • Krista October 27, 2017, 1:45 am

      Yep, exactly Rosie – cut back on the sugar.

  • Kim October 18, 2017, 1:31 pm

    I didn’t have apple cider so substituted water for cider. Turned outgreat. Easy and taste great! Will definitely make again!

    • Krista October 27, 2017, 1:46 am

      Glad to hear it Kim– Thanks for leaving that tip!

  • Lisa October 23, 2017, 11:52 pm

    I didn’t use cloves. I don’t like it but I doubled the nutmeg and add ginger powder 1 tsp.

    • Krista October 27, 2017, 1:47 am

      Great solution. Yes, always go with what you like!

  • Debra October 24, 2017, 11:07 pm

    Can you use Granny Smith apples

    • Krista October 27, 2017, 1:48 am

      Hi Debra – yes you can for sure. It will be a bit tart, but you can always add more sugar to balance the sour.

  • Della S Cornes October 30, 2017, 2:21 pm

    Will the Apple Butter thicken after it set for a time? Mine is kind of runny.

    • Krista October 31, 2017, 6:44 pm

      Yes it will, but it should be thick from the start as well (after cooking). Your apples may have had more water content and that isn’t easy to predict. Add cooking time to reduce the water content.

  • Priscilla November 20, 2017, 3:48 am

    I used Gala apples and had to cook it for about 20 hours compared to 10, but it was well worth the wait!! Super yummy!!!

  • Jody November 23, 2017, 1:13 pm

    Can you fix this in s lsrge roaster cooker and if so what temperature and how long will you cook it?

    • Krista November 29, 2017, 6:26 am

      I think that would work just fine, but I’ve never tried it, so I’m not sure how long to tell you. Just watch it after about 10 hours and check for consistency.

  • Lindsey December 11, 2017, 5:46 pm

    This will be my second time using this recipe. I love how simple it is to make. Everyone who has had this have always raved about how wonderful it is. I’m making Amish white bread to pair up as Christmas gifts to pass out at my daughter’s school.

    • Krista December 12, 2017, 5:29 am

      What a sweet idea! I love that! So glad you are enjoying it. Thanks for taking the time to post a comment, Lindsey 🙂 Blessings!

  • Karen October 13, 2018, 7:39 pm

    I am using Jonathan apples from our local orchard so I bought a bushel this time…..I have done one batch so far and it was fabulous…..I cooked mine for 11 hrs. the first day and the second day put it back on and just kept cooking it and stirring it every hour until it definitely stuck to the spoon for another 8 to 10 hrs. and put it back in the fridge to set…..took it out the next morning put it back on and cooked it for another 2 hrs while I got everything ready….I ended up with 4 1/2 pints and my husband cannot quit eating it…..of course I made some homemade bread to go with it…..lol soI will definitely be using this recipe for years to come…..thanks for sharing…..

    • Krista October 15, 2018, 6:14 am

      Oh I’m so glad this worked out for you! And yes, you just have to keep cooking it until it sets, so I’m so glad you figured that out and kept going. There is no way to guess the water content of the apples because they vary with each kind and with each season depending on how much rain they get and how they grow. For example, in our area this year in Washington State there wasn’t enough rain, so our apples have very little water content. That is the opposite of most years. The recipe has to be adjusted accordingly. Enjoy and thanks for taking the time to write!

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