Canning 101 – Crock Pot Apple Butter Recipe

If you can make applesauce, you can make apple butter.  The process is exactly the same with the exception of one step.  After you turn your apples into applesauce, instead of canning it right away, you place the applesauce in a crock pot to cook down into a thick, rich buttery spread.

Apple butter is great to spread on toast, but my favorite thing to do with apple butter is to place a whole chicken in a crock pot and pour a bottle of apple butter over it and let the chicken cook on low all day long.  The spiced apple butter makes the chicken sooo incredibly juicy and is the perfect way to enjoy chicken in the fall and winter months.

Try it, I’m sure you’ll love it as much as my family does.


8 pounds apples {I used several different varieties}
1 cup water or apple juice {I used water}
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Directions Wash, dry and quarter your apples.  Toss apples, water, sugar, and spices in an 8 quart pot and bring to a boil.  Once you reach a boil, stir the apples, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the apples are tender {about 20 minutes}, stirring often.

Once the apples are soft, carefully spoon them in to a food mill to separate the peels, stems and seeds. Place the apple mixture in a crock pot and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours, stirring occasionally.  Your house will smell awesome!!!

Once the apple butter has thickened and turned a dark brown color it’s time to can your loot.

Bring a boiling-water canner, 3/4 full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

Ladle the apple butter  immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw on bands. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. {Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.} Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min.

Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary}. Yields 4 pints. Need a slow cooker?  Amazon currently has the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-Quart Slow Cooker on sale for $29.88 shipped and the reviews are great!

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  1. Krista says

    What a great idea with the chicken! I still have apple butter that I canned last year, so I think I’ll give this a try. Thanks, Mavis!

  2. Beckybeq says

    YES! Dear daughter had apple butter for the first time and has been asking me to make some. Now I don’t have to look for the recipe. :o)

  3. Helen in Meridian says

    Be sure to gently warm some apple butter and dip chunks of gouda cheese in it. It just screams FALL and entertaining.

  4. Leanan says

    Can you freeze it or how long will it keep in the fridge? Haven’t spent the time to learn canning yet.

    • Mavis says

      You can freeze it. And it never lasts longer than a day around here, so I’m not sure how long it would last in the fridge. I suspect a month?

  5. Cecily says

    The apple butter on the chicken sounds heavenly! Do you have a complete recipe? My favorite way to use apple butter is to add a cup of it to my pumpkin pie recipe. Combines two awesome flavors of Fall!

  6. sharon says

    Do you think you could use a natural sweetener instead of sugar. Like maple syrup or honey to sweeten? Has anyone done this?

      • debbie says

        I make pear butter all of the time & I never add sugar of any kind just the seasoning.. the fruit is sweet enough for me..

  7. susan says

    One tip I found this year to try – and is it ever slick! Instead of using a food mill, use an immersion blender once the apples are soft. I am quartering and coring and throwing them in the crock or stockpot, with sugar and spices. Then, when soft, run my immersion blender through it, and voila! Smooth applesauce! I can’t believe how much time it is saving me! My goal is to make 50 quarts of applesauce, so that is important for me this year. I am also planning to make pie filling, syrup, etc if I am not too pooped once the applesauce is done. :)

    Also, if you make juice for jelly, you can use the solids, pureed, for applesauce or butter…….

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