What I’m Making: Apple Butter

My mother-in-law made the best apple butter.  Our daughters Kelli and Kayla would beg for it and Grandma Kramer often sent a jar home with them after a visit.  She was so sweet to them.

Kelli was especially in love with it and has often tried to find some that were “just like Grandma’s” but to date hasn’t found any.  She’s bought a jar at a farmer’s market or the grocery store but none are the same.

In the past, I tried making apple butter but had no luck and often burned it.  There are few harder things to clean up than burned apple butter but it’s hard to think of them.  I tried and it had the wrong flavor too.  I ended up giving up.

When I went to Carla’s last week to get apples, Carla said she had been out earlier and picked apples and had a batch of Crock Pot Apple Butter cooking.  Um. I wanted the recipe!!

Crock Pot made it sound like a dump-and-forget recipe…and Apple Butter.  Wow, YES!  That was worth a try.  I was hoping this time I wouldn’t somehow burn it.

Carla ended up stopping by later with this…


I tried it and YUM!!  It seemed a lot like Grandma Kramer’s.  I was excited to give it a try.

Here was the recipe Carla sent.  It sounded…really easy.


I got busy and put a batch in each of my crock pots.


I started them cooking the evening I was making applesauce.  I shut them off and left them in the pot overnight.  Then when I woke up the next morning I turned the crock pots back on and let them cook.

The house smelled amazing.  Everyone who came raved about the wonderful smell.


It tastes just wonderful.


There was the option to freeze or can the apple butter.  I ended up canning it so I could easily give some to the kids if they wanted to take some home.

I am so amazed that even the skins on the apples cooked down.  I’ll be making this again for sure…maybe even this year!!

I’m so excited to have Kelli give this a try.  I hope she likes it and it’s up to Grandma Kramer’s standard.  I think it is.  Thanks so much for the recipe and the apples Carla!!

31 thoughts on “What I’m Making: Apple Butter

  1. Donna

    My dd Steph makes an incredible apple butter in her crock pot. Nice to see you’re doing it too. I think Kellli will like it.
    Love and prayers

    Reply
  2. Lorraine

    Looks delicious! I’ve made it in the crockpot, too. Super easy. Towards the end of the cooking time, I left the lid off so it would lose more of the moisture. If your apples are sweet, less sugar can be used. I only used 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in my last batch. There are recipes on Pinterest for apple butter quick bread and muffins that are delicious

    Reply
  3. Carla

    Sounds super yummy. I wonder if the grandma used a recipe from an old canning book. I have one from the 40s and it included some.

    Reply
  4. Elizabeth Sawyer

    Did you cook your on high for the whole time or did you do as the receipe suggested. I hr on high then low for 9-11 hrs then 1 hr longer on low? Sounds easy and delicious.

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      I did a mixture of all of the times. I started it on high in the evening. When I went to bed, I shut it off. I turned it on low in the morning and then high as I wanted to be done with preserving before bedtime. I think it’s a whatever works with your schedule kind of thing.

      Reply
  5. Kate

    So glad you were able to make this. It sounds so much like my recipe. I filled my 6 quart crock pot about 2/3 full of peeled apples and cooked on low over night, then used immersion blender in a.m and added just 1 c. sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 t. cloves. So good and easy and no worry about burning. I, too, canned some jars of it.

    Reply
  6. Diana in Des Moines

    I use an old recipe with little sugar. Cooks in the crackpot almost 18 hours. Then i use a stick blender to make it smooth. Yummy!!

    Reply
  7. Toni

    I’ve made crock pot apple butter for years. I turn the heat to low and leave it on all night. Never had a problem. You will still need to turn it back to high for a few more hours. Hope the girls like it!!

    Reply
  8. Rosalie

    While my family in Indiana makes apple butter outdoors in a big copper kettle, there is always controversy over whether to add cinnamon red hot candy or not. You might try some in a batch!
    Red hots usually get snuck into the pot!

    Reply
  9. brendalynne1

    do you recall what sort of pot your MIL used for hers ?? M great-grandmother used an old kettle over an open fire and thought the old witches’ cauldron contributed to its flavor.
    your photos looked like it has taste too good to last very long. Does your family also use it for ice cream topping ???

    Reply
  10. Anne Fisher

    I make in crockpot too!!! And it looks just like that…. do hope that it meets the approval of the kids AND the grands!! I have to get some made too!! I made your Yard Sauce last fall– guess won’t be doing any this fall-since didn’t have a garden. And I am not sure if I ever said that I made your Sour Cream Blueberry pie for my son— he LOVED it–and it was very good!!! Thanks for sharing the recipes!!

    Reply
  11. Beryl in Owatonna

    My grandma made Apple Butter too. I have made it but think I did it on the stove, My favorite is Pear Butter. It is a little ‘finer’ I guess you could say or not as thick but oh s good!!Your Apple Butter looks amazing!

    Reply
  12. Sherry Whalen

    Yummy! That is how I make my apple butter (and apple sauce). I fill the crock pot with apples with peels, I only removed the core and damage spots. I didn’t need to add water. When they were all softened, I cooled the mix for a few minutes and ran them thru the Ninja blender and poured the puree back into the crock pot and left it on high for most of the day, cover off. I didn’t need to add much sugar to the apple sauce but I did add a little to the apple butter plus spices to taste. I canned it when it was the consistency I liked. It is delicious!

    Reply
  13. Darlene

    My kids love my apple butter recipe. My son especially! My family prefers smooth texture. The recipe is from a church cookbook. The first few times I made it I cooked the apples and pureed through my food mill. However I found that it works with NONSWEETENED applesauce.
    48 ounce jar unsweetened applesauce (natural applesauce)
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1/3 tsp allspice
    3 c sugar
    1 tsp cloves
    2 tsp lemon juice
    I usually bring to boil and then turn down to low and cook for a couple of hours, until I get the consistency I want.

    Reply
  14. Carol Inman

    LOVE the WATKINS brand! Did sell it for several years, still use many of its products. Crockpot apple butter is a staple on this farmstead in MO. Pretty much same recipe you used. Enjoy each of your blogs, inspires me to keep at it, quilting, counted cross stitch, gardening, etc.

    Reply
  15. Kim from TN

    The recipe sounds pretty easy and using my crock pot to make it sounds like a great time saver. Thank you Carla for sharing your recipe.

    Reply
  16. Patty Brenner

    Yummmm!! I can almost smell that heavenly smell through my computer :-) I haven’t made crock pot apple butter (now I plan to, lol), but I have made crock pot pumpkin butter – it’s almost amazingly delicious! I started making it because there was a recipe I picked up at Williams Sonoma for Pumpkin Butter dessert bars (starts with a yellow cake mix). They were serving samples in the store and it was so amazing, but I didn’t want to spend $13+ on a small jar of the pumpkin butter :-)

    Reply
  17. Carolyn Sullivan

    oh love apple butter too. as a gramma we should have this down right? my recipe used apple cider and apples. cooked down till a spoonful on a cold plate (right cold plate in august!) doesn’t separate and have water run off!

    Reply
  18. Kate

    ^ clueless Aussie here!
    I’ve never heard of apple butter!
    I saw in the comments you put it on ice cream – what other things do you use it for? Sounds delicious and I want to give it a try
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Kate…Apple butter is wonderful. It’s fabulous on toast. I like it best on cinnamon raisin toast. Also great as a sandwich.

      Reply
    2. Darlene

      Fabulous on French toast, cinnamon raisin bread, whole wheat bagels, pancakes. I have never tried it on ice cream. I will have to give that a try

      Reply

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