The Cottage Smallholder

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The slow cooker chef: Spiced apple butter recipe


Photo: Apples

Photo: Apples

“Why this is delicious.” Seraphina licked the spoon and examined the tasting pot. “You could add some to an ordinary apple pie and really make it special.”

After the success of the pear butter I thought I’d try my hand at apple butter. Fruit butter contains no butter. It has a spreadable saucelike consistency and is lighter than a fruit cheese. Fruit butter is a great way of preserving a glut as it seems to concentrate the flavour and a big bag of apples is turned into just a few jars – this recipe filled 5 x450ml jars. We ate some with roast pork and it was delicious.

I made this in the slow cooker to intensify the flavours.

It’s important to use cooking apples so the butter is not too sweet.

Spiced apple butter recipe


2 kilos of cooking apples
375 ml of water
250 ml of apple juice (I made this in the
steam juicer with the left over peel and cores of the apples)

1 tsp of vanilla essence
2 tsp of lemon juice
1 drop of almond essence
Half a tsp of allspice
1.5 tsp of cinnamon
400g of white granulated sugar


Peel, core and slice the apples.

Put the apples in the slow cooker with the lemon juice, vanilla essence, water and apple juice. Cook for 1 hour on high and 2 hours on low (lid on).

Puree the apples using a blender or food mill.

Return the apples to the slow cooker and add the sugar, allspice and cinnamon. Bring to simmering point and stir well. Leave to simmer for about 2-3 hours (lid off) to thicken, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately with hot sterile lids. If you want to go down the hot water bath route, the jars need to be processed for 10 minutes after the water has reached boiling point.

  Leave a reply


  1. Hello,

    I made apple butter but on the stove rather than a slow cooker and it just would not set! It was going for at least three hours longer than I cooked it (to set) last year, and I tied the cores and skins in a muslin bag and threw those in while it was cooking. Any suggestions would be very gratefully received!


    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Imogen

      Try adding the juice of a lemon and a bit more sugar.

  2. How long does the fruit butter last? If I make it now will it last to give as Christmas presents?

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Shelly
    I must try making that next year. The blackberries were great this year in the UK but are sadly over around me.

  4. shelley

    I make a lovely apple and blackberry butter; it is so delicious that I sold it as quickly as I could make it this autumn. The blackberry harvest was dire here in Toulouse as it was so hot and dry this summer that they all dried up 5sorry to all Brits!!)
    Hopefully next year will be better

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Paula

    I got ours in a supermartket sale (it cost £17). Once I got into using it a lot I realised how good it is for intensifying flavours.

    I’d love a pressure canner. Perhaps next year 🙂

  6. Ok- I just read all the reviews for these things on Amazon, and now I want one!!! Can’t have one just yet though- I just ordered my pressure canner. Don’t have any fruit growing yet either, but next year….I’m glad for know about this thing!

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi KarenO

    I don’t know which angel helped me but it worked really well!

    The more that I use my steamer/juicer the more I realise what a great investment it is.

    I’m going to use the pear left over cores and skins to make a pear juice for breakfast.

    Hello Eugenia

    Thanks for leaving a comment. I had a quick look on your blog and can’t wait to try making the tomato ketchup – D is a big fan of the Heinz one.

    Hope that the apple butter works out for you. Making a fresh batch as my fingers fly across the keyboard.

    Hello Jane

    We value your comments so I’m worried that you are having problems with our forum.

    Your email didn’t arrive – which is worrying (perhaps our spam filter is too stringent). I even checked the spam folder – zilch. If you are registered on the blog and move from the blog to the forum you should be automatically logged in (we don’t want people to have to jump through hoops to get on our forum).Danny is busy cooking supper ATM but I will alert him to your problem and he will be in touch with you.

  8. Jane aka:aromatic

    Sorry to bother you through your blog but seem to have no other way to contact you regarding the forum. I tried to join your forum at least a couple of days ago now and registered as requested and still no sign of a confirmed password in my email in-box, also checked the spam box. I also contacted you regarding this via your ‘contact us’ section and have still not had a reply from you. I have deliberately logged into your forum knowing I was not able to log in so to speak but in doing so would be able to click the lost password option in the vain hope of a password been sent to me that way and still nothing… so as a last resort to make contact have had to resort to your blog comment box… sorry!
    I don’t think I am doing anything technically wrong with the registration form, but as I am no computer genius… maybe I am (scratches head in confusion!! lol!!) So waving my ‘help me’ flag now!!
    Love Jane xxx

  9. I’m a food blogger and preservation enthusiast in Eugene, Oregon, and just stumbled upon your blog. Lovely! I’ve been looking for a recipe for apple butter using the slow cooker, and this one is PERFECT. Thank you!

  10. Wow I never thought of steam juicing the peel and core to make apple juice – ooh I’ve composted loads!!! BUT I still have a large bag-for-life full of cooking apples that need peeling and coring so I know what I shall do next time.

    I made apple butter last year and used it to fill Danish Pastries which I hadn’t made for years. Yum we had them for breakfast on Christmas morning but I had to be very disciplined to save enough for Christmas cos we ate most of them with morning coffee quite regularly!

    I hadn’t thought of having it with pork but I did have some of the crab apple jelly that I’d added sage leaves to with pork chops last week – it was lovely.

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