October 20, 2018
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.Print
Amish Crock Pot Apple Butter
Enjoy this delicious fall favorite inspired by my time spent in Amish country.
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
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.
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How many jars does this make,and also how long in water bath? Thank you.
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!
What size jars for 6-8?
The pint jars would be the best size for that, Trish! Enjoy the recipe!
Can this recipe be doubled if the crock pot is large enough?
Do you leave lid on slow cooker or take it off?
Hi there! Leave the lid on. It provides the “steam” it needs! Happy cooking!
how big was the crock pot
Hi Teri! Mine is a Costco- sized crock pot, but any crock pot will work!
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.
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!
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
Yes, you may need to add a little time to yours! Hope it went OK – how does it taste??
I made this apple butter recipe…I put mine in a Water bath.. how long does it take to setup?
It depends on your heat and your size of pot – but, most of the time 10 min. in a water bath. Good luck!!!!
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?
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.
I used Red and Golden Delicious the first time. Now I am using Rome and Golden Delicious. Wish me luck!
Way to go Jessica! Isn’t it delicious?
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?
Yes you absolutely can half the recipe. Good luck!
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.
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?
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.
I love this! Bringing tradition (and the memory of Grandma) back through food is a gift!!!
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.
I’m so glad Donna! Blessings to you!
Any suggestions on how to make it sugar free (or no sugar added)?
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.
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.
fantastic tip Michele! Thank you!!!!
Can this recipe be made on the stove top??? My crock pot just broke!!
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 🙂
I have my own apples Honey Crisp. Would they be good to make apple butter? Would u cut back on sugar?
Yep, exactly Rosie – cut back on the sugar.
I didn’t have apple cider so substituted water for cider. Turned outgreat. Easy and taste great! Will definitely make again!
Glad to hear it Kim– Thanks for leaving that tip!
I didn’t use cloves. I don’t like it but I doubled the nutmeg and add ginger powder 1 tsp.
Great solution. Yes, always go with what you like!
Can you use Granny Smith apples
Hi Debra – yes you can for sure. It will be a bit tart, but you can always add more sugar to balance the sour.
Will the Apple Butter thicken after it set for a time? Mine is kind of runny.
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.
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!!!
Can you fix this in s lsrge roaster cooker and if so what temperature and how long will you cook it?
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.
I always make mine in the big blue and white toaster pan. I cook the apples on top of the stove and drain them (unpeeled of course! Then I add all my ingredients, sugar, spices, apple cider, etc. Then I put it in my oven set at about 250 – 275 and bake for many, many hours! It gets the rich dark color of apple butter and it doesn’t last in my house! It will get thick. P.S. I purée the apples in my Vitamix before putting them in the roaster pan and then add spices, I leave the lid off the pan. Watch it and stir occasionally, the sugar content makes it dark and it will thicken perfectly. I am from Hershey PA and went to the Amish markets almost every weekend I could as a child. I was raised on apple butter and homemade jams, etc! Miss living there, but nobody says I can’t make the Amish foods I love! Shoo-Fly Pie is my absolute favorite!
Hi Cynthia! Oh my goodness I just love your story of living by Amish farms as a child. What a dream! And thank you for sharing your method. That is so helpful and great to have another way to do it on this post!
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.
What a sweet idea! I love that! So glad you are enjoying it. Thanks for taking the time to post a comment, Lindsey 🙂 Blessings!
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…..
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!
Karen, I am thinking that I might have to do the same thing as you did????. When you put yours in the refrigerator, did you let it cool off before and did you bring it to some what room temperature before you started cooking it again? This is my first time doing anything like this????????????
It seems that the stovetop recipes make paler apple butter while the crockpot versions seem darker and richer looking. Is the color an indication of the flavor of the finished product?
I think so, but I’m bias for sure 😉
I have been cooking all day and still have a lit if liquid but apples mushy, should I cook out juice and then blender it or just blender with liquid and cook some more til consistency I want
Yes exactly! Don’t be afraid to add liquid to achieve the consistency you want. You can always cook it out if it’s too much!
I’ve been looking at so many recipes for applebutter. Some say use apple cider some say apple cider vinegar. I’m confused lol
Hi Deborah – those are very different liquids. I prefer cider, but you could try one batch with one and one with the other and see what you like! The vinegar has a more tart taste.
I have 6 1/2 pounds of apples. How should I adjust, if any, the ingredients for the extra half pound? I’m so excited to make this. I have NEVER made anything like this or canned????. I have my apples and apple cider in the crockpot now, just need to add the other ingredients.
Hi!! I have made the Apple Butter several times and love it but one thing I changed from the very beginning was “I don’t add any cider”! Apples of any kind have enough water in them without adding liquid! I love it and am thankful I found the recipe several years ago!! I gift jars to friends and family and everyone loves it!! Thanks!
Hi Lori! I’m so glad!!! And that is a great adjustment. Nice work!
Can this be stored like canned veggies or have to be frozen?
Yes, you can can it using traditional canning methods. Enjoy!
[…] This post has been pinned more times than any other. I’m not sure if it is because it says “crockpot” or “Amish” but either way thousands of people have made this recipe and report back to tell me how much they love it. This recipe is a part of our our annual “Apple Day.” We peel apples, put together pies, crisps, and make applesauce and apple butter. […]
Made this last night and ohhhh myyy, it’s absolutely the BEST!
I used a combination of Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Fuji,and Gingergold apples. I substituted apple cider vinegar for the lemon juice and used Moreno sugar in place of white granulated sugar. Everything else was per recipe.
I placed the crock pot on high for two hours as directed, but at about the three hour mark it was obvious that there was gonna be too much liquid. I ladled out 2 cups of liquid and reserved it just in case I was wrong and needed it, but I didn’t. I turned it on the low setting and went to bed! When I woke up this morning the mixture was cooked so well that an immersion blender was not even necessary. A regular whisk puréed the apples to a very nice texture. Impressive!!! At that point I did taste test and added a bit more brown sugar and just a little more Morena sugar. Removed the lid and went back to the high setting for just a few hours and it was good to go!
I ended up with 8 half pint jars and two full pints, which is a good run for a crock pot sized cooking!
This apple butter is fantastic. Hands down, the best I’ve ever made! It is a deep brown color, very thick and has just the right amount of spices. It’s sweet with just a zing of tartness…which is what we like in an apple!
I highly recommend this recipe and am very thankful to have stumbled across it! This one is def a keeper!
Oh this makes me so happy! I’m sooooo glad you liked it 🙂 I love the combination of apples you used. And draining the liquid was smart. Happy fall girl!
Krista, I’m about to make Amish Apple Butter using your above recipe. I, too, use the Jonagold apples which are quite sweet. I’m going to double the recipe in the crockpot and adding four cups of sugar to the (double) batch seems excessive. Have you ever made a double batch following this recipe, including four cups of sugar? Thank you in advance…..
Good for you!!! Honestly, I adjust the sugar ALL THE TIME. In fact, sometimes I even make it with Truvia instead or Monk Fruit so I have a no-sugar option for me. It’s a little bit runnier, but still amazing. Cut the sugar in half as a good third way?
I absolutely love this recipe, I made apple pumpkin butter. I put some pumpkin purée in place of about half the sugar 💕I followed the recipe with everything else. OMG turned out amazing ! Thank you for this wonderful recipe, I’m making Christmas gifts so I’ll make little pumpkin breads to go with it.
Hi Allyson! I don’t think I’ve had ANYONE do that yet and I’m so excited about that addition. Well done my friend. Totally going to try this girl – thanks!
Do you have to water bath the jars or can I just put them in the fridge. I was hoping to make this recipe and put in small jars as a shower favor.
No you can refrigerate or freeze as well. What a CUTE shower gift in the fall – I love it!
[…] Be sure to check out my Pinterest-viral Amish Crockpot Apple Butter recipe […]
I really love this recipe !
I’m so glad you liked it Carolina! Wonderful 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.
It’s an amazing recipe 😍
I really love every time when I do this !
Everyone in my family loves this apple butter !
Hi Carolina! I’m so glad you like this. It’s so yummy in the fall!!!! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment 🙂
I’m just wrapping up the first two hours in the crock pot. It smells AMAZING! I’ve used Red Delicious, Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Ambrosia and Fuji…spiced per the recipe (so far)…I had to chop the unpeeled apples pretty small to cram everything in but I was not willing to make less than a whole batch! 😋
Hi Ellen – nice work on mixing the apples! It adds a lot of depth and texture to the final product. And yes – cram away. That’s what I do also!
I’m making my second attempt this weekend. I wound up overcooking it and it was scorched. I tossed the whole batch. I’m going to try some of the recommended liquid management tips from previous comments and see how it works out. This week only Granny Smith, Gala and Ambrosia. I think those hit all the pertinent notes, yes?
I will say that my larger crock pot cooks this way faster and hotter than my smaller one. For that crock pot I have to watch it carefully and reduce the cooking time. FYI. It should not burn the bottom, especially if you are giving it a good stir every hour or so. Report back how it goes! And yes, you are hitting the notes 🙂
I’m using honey crisp apples. How would you cut the sugar? I thought one C honey and 1 C brown sugar would be good to start. Then can I add more honey when it’s done? I’ll be eating and giving away this entire batch this time.
I have never used all honeycrisp Maureen. I would cut some of the sugar for sure. I usually use a fairly tart apple. Let me know how it goes!