My family and I went apple picking this past week. One of our Fall traditions that we love to do (but don’t always do) is to go apple picking and make apple butter in our slow cooker. It is easy, makes the house smell wonderful and has NO sugar!
Slim Apple Pickings
The woman told us that we would have to drive pretty far down to get to the apples since there were so many people at the orchard, and apparently the end of apple picking season. We drove to the end of the road and started walking down the long aisle of apple trees. No apples.
“Mom, mom, I found one!” my oldest son cried out excitedly. Hmmm…one apple? I was starting to get nervous that maybe apple butter was not in the cards for us – or we’d just have to buy them from the market area. Watching them lovingly pick and cradle the single apple still on a tree was precious though!
We walked up and down the row, then moved over several rows and hit the apple jackpot…sort of. We finally found the several rows of Pink Lady apples and my sons carefully checked the apples before putting it into our container.
My sons were all very particular – one bruise or dark spot and they rejected it. My husband on the other hand was wandering around picking out the good apples that had fallen on the ground around the trees. By the end of the afternoon, we had 30 pounds of apples, a dozen apple cider donuts, and a gallon jug of their apple cider. We all left happy.Have a lot of apples? Make this easy, no sugar apple butter in your slow cooker today! Click To Tweet
No sugar apple butter
I’ve made this in the past, and of course did not write down the recipe. Doing a quick internet search helped me remember that apple cider was the sweetener. We used Pink Lady apples and a larger red apple that my husband picked (not sure of the variety!).
- 12 medium to large apples
- 2 cups of apple cider
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- a few dashes of ground cloves
Yields about 6 cups of apple butter.
- Wash your apples. You don’t have to peel the apples! Core and cut the apples into chunks. I cored the apples into sections and then cut the sections into half. Place the apple chunks into the crock pot. (If I got a new crock-pot, this is the one I would get!)
- Pour the apple cider over the apples.
- Sprinkle the seasonings over the apple chunks.
- Mix it all together.
- Set on low. Takes about 8 hours.
- When cool, ladle into jars and keep in the refrigerator!
Some Additional notes
Occasionally mix until the apple chunks are soft. I have an immersion blender (like this one, which I LOVE!), which makes this super easy. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use your regular blender to puree the apple mixture. If you have an immersion blender, then puree the apple mixture right in the crock pot.
I had it on low for about 6 hours, pureed it, then kept the crock pot lid open and stirred occasionally for the next 2 hours until it has thickened. I ended up using the immersion blender a second time to get a really smooth consistency.
My whole family loves this on toast, pancakes, and straight out of the jar!
Do you go apple picking? What’s your favorite way of using up your apples?
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