Fall is by far my favorite season, and apples are a big part of fall's charm for me. Apple picking at orchards, old fashioned cider pressings, and cinnamon-spiced desserts are an essential part of this season, and I love it. For those times where you have an abundance of apples, or have some that are less-than-perfect and need to be used asap, making apple butter is here to save you.
I sweetened mine with maple syrup, but you could experiment with other kinds of natural sweeteners to suit your tastes. If you are using wild or some types of heirloom apples that are much less sweet than those at the store, you may need to increase the amount of sweetener used; alternately, some store-bought varieties will run sweeter, so adjust as needed.
I love using my slow cooker as much as possible, especially in the colder months. For that rare time that it isn't filled with bone broth, making fruit butter is a great way to use the slow cooker to save time in the kitchen. You could do this on the stove top, but this makes the process really convenient, and your house will smell amazing.
Slow Cooker Maple Apple Butter
Makes ~1 quart
8 cups chopped apples, ~3 lbs whole apples (I leave the skin on)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs cinnamon powder
1 tsp each allspice, clove and ginger powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2-1 cup maple syrup, depending on the sweetness of your apples
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover with lid and set slow cooker to low. Let cook for approximately 8 hours, or until the apples have cooked down by half and the mixture has a dark, almost brown color. The mixture should be extremely soft.
Let mixture cool for 15-20 minutes before blending. I used an immersion blender to make my butter, but you could transfer your apple mixture to a food processor or blender. Puree until very smooth.
Transfer to glass jars and refrigerate.
This should keep for around 2 weeks in the fridge--but extra jars can be frozen until ready to thaw and use to extend the shelf life.
Serve on buttered sourdough toast, on top of roasted butternut squash, or even with pork!
Brine & Broth
I am a gut health-focused nutritionist and online health coach based in Southwest Wisconsin. My recipes and philosophies center around traditional, nutrient-dense foods that support robust gut health.