With autumn in full swing, you might have noticed fruit butters appearing at your local farmers market. Have you tried them before? They are a delightful spread to dip fruits and veggies in or slather onto toast. And one of my favorite types of fruit butters — especially this time of year — is slow cooker apple butter made from nutrition-rich apples.
Apple Butter vs. Apple Jam: What Is the Difference?
Now, you might confuse apple butter with jam, but they aren’t the same. See, jams are made from crushed or chopped fruit that are combined with sugar, pectin to thicken the mix and sometimes lemon juice. It’s all puréed together to eliminate any chunks of fruit.
Fruit butters combine the entire fruit, including the peel, with spices and sugar. Because there is no pectin, the fruit takes longer to cook down. But the added amount of time actually works to your benefit; it’s what puts the “butter” in “apple butter,” as it becomes super spreadable. Yum!
Why Use A Slow Cooker?
That’s why the slow cooker comes in handy for this Slow Cooker Apple Butter recipe. Instead of having to remain vigilant over a pot on the stove, you can add all the ingredients into the slow cooker and go. And trust me, the smell that will be coming from your slow cooker is better than any scented candle you could burn!
Key Ingredients of a Great Apple Butter
So what makes a great homemade apple butter? Like most recipes with few ingredients, the quality of apple is important here. When possible, opt for local, organic varieties. Apple butter doesn’t require much else; you likely have it all in the pantry already!
One of the underrated parts of apple butter is the fact that it uses cinnamon and apple cider vinegar, two ingredients that come with a ton of benefits.
The health benefits of cinnamon are impressive. The spice is packed with antioxidants, which help reduce free radical damage and can slow down aging. Cinnamon also contains powerful anti-inflammatory effects, protects heart health and fights infections and viruses. As little as 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon can really make a difference in your body.
Apple cider vinegar is another natural ingredient that’s beneficial to our bodies. When ingested, apple cider vinegar detoxes your body by balancing pH levels, stimulating the cardiovascular system, bowel mobility and lymphatic drainage. It’s also an effective treatment for acid reflux and heartburn while killing off excess yeast.
That means this apple butter isn’t just tasty, it’s great for your body, too.
How to Make Apple Butter
It’s time to get this slow cooker apple butter going!
Start by adding all the ingredients into the slow cooker and let the apple butter recipe cook for the next six hours.
Once the slow cooker apple butter is ready, use a cheese or nut milk bag. Add in the homemade apple butter mixture over a medium mixing bowl. Strain the liquids from the solids.
Then use an immersion blender to blend the apples. Then do a taste test. Add a little maple sugar to sweeten to your liking. Then store the apple butter recipe in a mason jar.
This slow cooker apple butter will keep for up to three months in the refrigerator, but I doubt it will last that long!
Prep 15 minutes; Total 6 hours 15 minutes
- 10 apples, cored and sliced
- 1 cup organic apple juice
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ tablespoon ground clove
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- maple sugar, optional*
- Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on medium heat for 6 hours.
- In a cheese or nut milk bag, add in apple butter mixture over a medium mixing bowl and strain the liquids from the solids.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the apples.
- Sweeten with maple sugar, to taste
- Store in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 3 months.
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