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Chef John's Apple Butter

Rated as 4.64 out of 5 Stars

"Move over, apple sauce. Apple butter is basically a spreadable apple pie filling, only better. Though cooking time is long, it's super easy and pretty hands-free. Pair it with some sharp Cheddar on a cheese plate, or slather it onto cheesy biscuits (see footnote). Other approved uses include spreading between the layers of a spice cake, filling seasonably appropriate thumbprint cookies, or even as a condiment for pork chops."
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10 h 15 m servings 82
Original recipe yields 32 servings (4 cups)


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  1. Place apple pieces into a large slow cooker. Add white sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vinegar. Add a splash of water and mix well.
  2. Cover and cook on High until apples are starting to soften and release liquid, 1 to 2 hours. Reduce heat to Low and cook, uncovered, until all the apple flesh is dissolved, 5 to 6 hours. Stir occasionally.
  3. Puree using an immersion blender until smooth. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until darkened and thick, about 4 hours more. Pass apple butter through a strainer if desired. Seal in a glass container and refrigerate until cool.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • Any classic cooking apple should work in this recipe.
  • If you don't have a slow cooker you can certainly do it on top of the stove over low heat, as long as you use a nice thick-bottomed pot, and stir often. Another option would be to place the mixture in a large roasting pan, and cook it in a slow oven, stirring occasionally until dark and thick.
  • See my recipe for Irish Cheddar Spring Onion Biscuits.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 82 calories; 0 21.8 0.2 0 75 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 14
  1. 14 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

It was well worth the wait & time. Thank you Chef John.

Most helpful critical review

I love Chef John's recipes, usually. This recipe - I hated. Weird with the apple cider vinegar. My boyfriend hated it too. For as long as it took, I was expecting something great. No where ...

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

It was well worth the wait & time. Thank you Chef John.

Used this recipe because it seemed pretty close to what I used to make. The apple butter was very good and not as sweet as other apple butters. Definitely try to use Granny Smith's as indicated ...

SUPER easy! This was my 1st time doing ANY of this kind of thing. Cooked all day, made my house smell amazing. Im jarring for the future right now, it made 7, 8oz jars of apple butter, flavor it...

I’ve made this twice, and reduced the vinegar by half based on other reviews. It’s amazing! The first time I chose not to strain it, the second time I did, and it made it smoother. Because you d...

My house was filled with the scent of apples, and spice lovely! Truly a pleasure to make, stir and create Christmas canned presents!

Excellent and well worth the time. I need to reduce amount of apples since I have a small slow cooker. Mine will only take 1-1 !/2 pounds of apples.

I used Gala apples but tasted before hand so I could decide about the sugar amount. I decided one cup would be plenty and it was. I cut the salt down to 1/4 teaspoon and omitted the allspice as ...

This is a great recipe! I've made slow cooker apple butter before, but never left the peels on. I followed the directions as written, with the only exception being it took a lot longer with my ...