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Homemade, no sugar added applebutter. is what you get when you cross Russet apples, Spices, and a Crockpot.

11:16 AM

Outside things have completely wound down.  The chipmunks and other little creatures (with the glaring exception of squirrels, who are completely emptying my bird feeder) have gone into hibernation.  It's still, relatively quiet, and the sun is only shining for about 8 hours a day followed up by crisp nights filled with twinkly stars.    The phrase "All is calm, all is bright" comes to mind.

The lights are in a nearly constant state of burning brightly in the kitchen lately as my kids dig around looking for snacks. Earlier this week they unearthed my peck of Russet Apples.  I decided this was a clear indication that it was time to make apple butter, before the apples began to disappear.

And the smell was amazing.    I honestly think that I should make this more often.  Possibly micro-batches using different varieties of apples throughout the season.

Late Season Apple Butter
with no added sugar
1 Peck (25-30) apples of your choice
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp ground allspice

Rinse and core your apples. LEAVE THE SKIN ON!  It contains the pectin necessary to make your apple butter "gel". I used one of these little gadgets:
Put as many apple slices as will fit into a crockpot and refridgerate the remainder of the slices.  Add spices to the crockpot and stir to coat.  
Cook on "low" setting for about 5 hours, or until the apples start to get soft and there is room to add the remainder of the slices.  Stir new slices into the mixture.  Cook on low for another 10+ hours, stirring whenever you remember to do so.

When it's done in the crockpot, it'll look something like this: 
Now it's time to get your blender or food processor out and your jars(about 8 medium-sized) ready. Please be sure your jars and caps are washed and disinfected before use.  I've done this both in the dishwasher and with hot soapy water before.  Either works fine.
 Puree the apple butter in batches.  When it's done being pureed, it should look like this: 
Cover and seal.  Set them on the counter and wait for the caps to "pop"!  Enjoy!

Stores for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator and up to a year in the freezer! Or, put in a waterbath and boil on high heat for 15 minutes if you want this to stay on the shelf (unrefridgerated) for up to 12 months.


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  1. Question: when you say this should last 3 weeks in fridge or a year in freezer, you're talking about an opened jar, right? If it is still sealed it should last a year in the cupboard like most canned items? I want to make some so I can make your delicious carrot apple spice muffins again this year!!!

  2. LOL. So this: If you can it in a waterbath like you would with Jam (for about 45 minutes at a rolling boil) it'll keep pretty much indefinitely on the shelf. If you can it like I did in this post ("freezer jam" or, as i call it "lazy-can") it should really be frozen or refrigerated to keep it around for any considerable length of time. I've personally kept these at room temp for months and eaten them and not died... buuut now that i've researched more into canning, AND am feeding it to my young kids, I'm a little more cautious.


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