Sunday, October 16, 2011

Slow Cookin' Sunday: Sugar-Free Apple Butter

The mystery of apple butter has been sufficiently and successfully solved. 

I have never eaten apple butter before. Oh, I've heard about it for a long time. I've had long conversations with people about apple butter. And every Fall I've wanted to make some or buy some, but it always somehow just managed to slip away as a fleeting thought. 

This year though, local apples were on sale for 39 cents a pound at our market. I could not pass it up. I found a few recipes online for slow cooker apple butter, but of course, I wanted to make mine white sugar-free.  So I fudged my way through, taking what I thought was valuable from numerous recipes and adding my own value (ha!) to create my own recipe. It turned out fabulously and super sweet, which begs the question: I wonder what in the world the apple butter with four cups of white sugar tastes like?  

It's funny because when I told people that I was making apple butter everyone asked the same first question: What do you put apple butter on? How do you eat it?

I shrugged. I don't know. Toast maybe? Or in oatmeal. That sounded good.

The second question consistently was: What's the texture like? Is it really like butter?  "I don't think so," I said aloud. " I think it's jam-like." I was thinking: What is the texture like?

I can now tell you that you'll want to slather apple butter on anything that is well, slatherable. You'll want to eat the apple butter with a spoon. It's sweet and thick, not like jam at all, more like a very thick apple sauce that is sweet and soft and not runny at all.

The second best thing about making apple butter (other than the apple butter itself) is the way it permeates the entire house with this wonderful cinnamony fall-like scent. I kept stopping all throughout the day and saying aloud to the kids, "Wow, that smells awesome."

Slow Cooker Apple Butter


5 1/2 lbs apples (I used golden delicious because that's what we like; it was around 11 apples)
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt


Peel apples and core them. If you have a handy dandy apple corer, awesome. If not, you might want to buy one. I think I picked mine up at Walmart for a $1. It works great.

You want to get the apples chopped super fine. So I threw mine in the food processor. It worked great. If you don't have a food processor, just chop it very very fine.

Put the apples in the slow cooker, add the honey and the spices and salt.

Mix well, cover and cook on high for one hour. Switch to low and cook for 8 hours. Stir occasionally. After eight hours, take the cover off and cook for one more hour, whisking to create a smooth texture. Here's what mine looked like at 10:00 pm:

It's so thick, you can actually see the whisk lines in it! Allow it to cool and transfer to airtight containers to refrigerate or freeze.

My husband and I giggled like school girls that night, eating apple butter off of the spoon. We had no idea it would taste so sweet and creamy. My husband then promptly went back to playing some dumb game on his computer. And if life was according to him, I went back to reading some dumb book.

Apple butter is so good. 

Nutrition Information Per Tablespoon: Calories 27; Total Fat 0g; Total Carb 7g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 4g; Protein 0g
*Nutrition information has been calculated using an online recipe calculator tool.
This post has been linked to:
My Baking Addiction Holiday Recipe Swap


  1. My mom used to make apple butter all of the time when I was little and yes, it did make the whole house smell like thanksgiving!

  2. This looks absolutely delicious and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it uses no WHITE SUGAR and JUST HONEY!!! LOVE IT!

  3. Oh yum is right! I love how you take regular foods and use white sugar alternatives! Yum!!!

  4. You are a gem Gina! I love your sugar-free recipes! Honey is such an awesome substitute!

  5. YUM! I want to make this just so my house will smell like awesome-ness!

  6. I love this SUGAR-FREE apple butter. I am always looking for ways to substitute refined white sugar and honey is the PERFECT natural sweetener!!!!!!!

  7. I just found your blog about a 1/2 hour ago and I've been looking at your recipes ever since. I finally had to comment when I read through this post. Not only do I love the sound of this recipe and will be making it... but your comment about your husband heading back to play his dumb game.... TOTALLY SOUNDS LIKE ME! Frustrates the heck out of me, I'm glad someone else is going through it too! lol

  8. Hahaha! That's too funny! I swear he snores louder when he's especially obsessed with a certain game. I just told him that this morning!

  9. This sounds really good. I might try it with Agave.. as it has a lower glycemic value than honey. I love apple butter, My parents and theirs are of German decent.. eating something sweet like apple butter on bread is amazing after something savory like sausage and sauerkraut..or my Great grandfathers Gritzwurst(a caseless breakfast sausage with Steel Cut oats)

  10. I made this recipe last week and it turned out amazing! I didn't use near as much honey because I didn't have much on hand and I left out the cloves. I turned a 5 gallon bucket of apples into 2.5 crockpots full of apple butter! Thanks for sharing...I've now got a freezer full to get me through the year and share with friends and family :)

    1. Great to know about the honey...I'll try half a cup next time and see how it is...of course my sweet tooth is practically gone these days, so I'll have to use my husband as a judge!

  11. I am going to use this recipe to can this weekend for xmas gifts!! Any idea how much this recipes yields?

    1. I've never measured it, but if I had to guess I would say between 2 and 3 cups...!

  12. Has anyone tried this with Agave nectar yet? If so how much is suggested, since I hear its sweeter than honey.


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