I used to make apple butter for my family of nine—even in the crock pot sometimes. You know…all of the “methods.” The peel everything then use an immersion blender method. The run everything through a hand crank thingy method. The cook-your-apples-in-apple-cider method (my former favorite way). Crock pot. Stove top. And more.
But I have never had such yummy, perfect, sweet apple butter as this recipe. I first found the method at The Busy Baker. I was sure that it wasn’t right—no apple cider or juice while cooking?
I tried it as she had it—then added Pyure, fingers crossed. Sure that it was going to have apple peel pieces throughout. Sure that it wouldn’t be sweet enough. Sure that it would be too light colored. Sure that it would be too thick or too thin. It just seemed too easy.
Don’t be fooled by the ease of this recipe. It is perfect in color, thickness, flavor, and spreadability. I absolutely can’t be without this apple butter! My sugar-free jams are getting moldy on the lids. Why have something store-bought and inferior when this brown glorious goodness is in the fridge?
I love it on my Sprouted Low Carb Bread (homemade and Trader Joe’s), dolloped on my BEST French Toast Ever (not hyperbole!), spread on healthy tortillas crisped and buttered, drizzled over my Cream Cheese Dessert Base, topping my Simple Cheesecake, and more. It literally keeps me away from my old favorite: cream-filled long John donuts from my favorite bakery.
So make it for your family. Or just make it for you and hide it from your family. 🙂
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- Granulated sweetener
- Place the apples in your crock pot—cored and sliced, peeling on, no water, not cider or juice. Just apple slices.
- Turn crock pot on high and cook with the lid on for about four hours (depending on the “hotness” of your crock pot and the number of apples used.
- Stir every hour or so—from the bottom and edges thoroughly.
- When apples are super tender (and start to “smush” when you stir the with a wooden spoon), transfer the apples to the blender. (May have to do this in batches.)
- Blend on high until mixture is smooth and creamy. (Don’t wash crock at this point, but be sure it is completely emptied of apples.)
- Add apple butter back to crock pot and cook on high for another hour or two with the lid half on and half off, stirring every thirty to forty-five minutes. (Mine was really thick enough after pureeing it, and the return to the crock was hardly needed.)
- When thick enough, stir in granulated sweetener and cinnamon to taste. (Taste it while doing this because you will be surprised how little sweetener you need.)
- When cool, transfer to jars or containers. Refrigerate for up to four weeks (ha ha).
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Very Low Carb (VLC): This is not VERY low carb. There are natural carbs in the apples, of course. Generally speaking, you are not going to consume this in half cup quantities. I think it would fit well into a moderate carbohydrate diet (40 to 60 carbs per day or more). I use it in that way. (It’s worth the carbs!)
Family-Friendly (FF): This is the number one recipes that absolutely nobody will now is sugar-free. It’s that good. Make this for your kids, for gifts, for brunch. It’s delicious.
Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): The crock pot can be your best friend! And this recipe has no peeling (just core and slice). It is a little more work with the processor, but I even have a little tip for that: I plan to do at least two things every time I pull out my Ninja. First, I will crisp and grind up some lavash (see Healthy No Bake Peanut Butter Bars at the blog and in Healthy Mixes: Sugar-Free, Flour-Free) or nuts or dried bread for my Healthy Breading Mix, etc. Then I process this in the wiped out processor bowl. I always try to get double the work out of any cooking session or cumbersome kitchen tool!
Homemade Hannah (HH): What can be more homemade than apple butter on homemade Sprouted Low Carb Bread?
Freezer Cooking (FC): I haven’t frozen this, but as well as applesauce freezes, I would be surprised if this didn’t freeze really well too. Just be sure to stir thoroughly when defrosted.
Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): Apples can be a tricky THM food. This apple butter is clearly an E food. However, if you are not a purist, I think you can add this to your Cream Cheese Dessert Base treat or a very low carb Cream Cheese Pancake or a Low Carb Crepe and still stay under the carb limit for an S meal or snack.
Sugar Free (SF): No sugar, of course! And you will be surprised how little sugar substitute is even needed (which is one of the reasons it tastes so “normal”—remember my Power of Dilution article!).
Gluten-Free (GF): Yep!