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Overnight Apple Butter

Cook up a batch of the tastiest apple butter in no time by making it in a slow cooker with this recipe from Amy Traverso, author of "The Apple Lover's Cookbook."

  • Yield: Makes 6 pint jars or 12 1/2-pint jars
Overnight Apple Butter


  • 5 pounds (about 10 large) mixed apples, peeled, cored, and cut into medium-size pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 whole star anise pod
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups fresh apple cider
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


  1. Turn a slow cooker on high and add all ingredients. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Mixture should be bubbling vigorously. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour more. Remove and discard star anise pod.

  2. With the lid set slightly ajar, continue cooking until apple butter is dark brown and thick, 7 to 9 hours more. Stir well and pass through a food mill or strainer, if necessary to remove any lumps.

  3. Place six clean 1-pint or twelve clean 1/2-pint jars right side up on a rack in a boiling-water canner. Fill canner and jars with hot water, about 1 inch above tops of jars. Bring jars to a boil over high heat; boil for 10 minutes. Using a jar lifter, remove and drain hot sterilized jars one at a time, reserving hot water for processing filled jars. Place jars on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.

  4. In another large pot filled with water, bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer, then add clean lids and lid rings. Simmer lids for 10 minutes; do not boil, as this may cause problems in sealing jars. Drain lids and set aside.

  5. Divide apple butter evenly among sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at top of each jar. Using tongs, place lids on jars. Using your hands, place rings on jars and tighten (but do not overtighten). Reheat water in the canner until it reaches at least 180 degrees, within 10 minutes of filling the jars. Place filled jars into the canner, one at a time, using a jar lifter securely positioned below neck of jar. Keep jars upright at all times.

  6. Add more boiling water, if needed, so that water covers jars by at least 1 inch. Increase heat to high and cover. Once water begins boiling, heat jars for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and gently transfer jars to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, taking care not to tilt jars and spacing each jar at least 1 inch apart. Avoid placing jars on a cold surface or near a cold draft.

  7. Let jars sit undisturbed until fully cooled, 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until jars have cooled completely.

  8. Once jars have cooled completely, test to make sure each jar is completely sealed: Press down on the middle of the lid with a finger. If lid springs up when finger is released, jar is unsealed. Store sealed jars in a cool place. If any of the jars are unsealed, store in refrigerator and use within several days.

Reviews (14)

  • doglover63 5 Nov, 2013

    4 stars: the recipe was so helpful: gave number of apples, not just weight; gave # of jars; gave specific canning instructs not found in others. Reviews & chgs were even more helpful, so decided to leave my own. Based on rvws: I used 25 lg mixed apples, cored, sliced, & peeled (but cooked peels also), 1.5 C brn sugar, 1/2 t each allspice, nutmeg, & ginger, 3 t cinnamon, dash sea salt, 2 C fresh cider, juice of 1 lg lemon. Took 2 crockpots overnight. Pureed in food processer, 10 1/2 pints. YUMMY!

  • edowns 6 Oct, 2013

    Did anyone else's turn out REALLY watery looking after cooking 10 1/2 hours and putting thru a sieve?

  • 920cookin 26 Sep, 2013

    Must amend my previous review. Upon closer inspection, it did in fact yield 3 one-pint jars, so 6 half-pints. I didn't look at my jars closely enough!

  • 920cookin 26 Sep, 2013

    Tastes wonderful, but nearly six pounds of apples yielded only 3 half-pint jars. I don't know who could be special enough to get one of my three jars! I think the apple variety must make a bigger difference than weight. I will try again and really fill the crockpot to the top.

  • Knytling 21 Oct, 2012

    I used 5 pounds of apples, but only ended up with 6 half pints ( I used a combination of 4oz and 8oz jars) maybe the recipe should read: makes 6 half pints or 12 4oz jars. Other than that the recipe seems to work out well.

  • Allison G 3 Oct, 2012

    I didn't have any star anise & so substituted a pinch of allspice. I also decreased the sugar by half and used 1 C white sugar and 1/2 C light brown. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly until the morning. The fruit was still quite chunky after cooking 11.5 hours total, so I mashed it up with a potato masher and then pureed in batches in the food processor. My 5 lbs of apples only yielded 2 pints . However, it is delicious and I'm glad I tried it! I had a full crate of apples to use up.

  • chloeandmom 16 Nov, 2011

    Just made this last night, canned it and ate some and it is GREAT! Will be giving our my jars for Christmas, would be awesome in PB&J cookies!

  • Solangegreene 14 Nov, 2011

    Erica 75, check this out

    Altitude affects canning recipes, just like it
    does when you bake. Recipes are written
    for altitudes up to 1,000 feet above sea
    level. Be sure to check the chart below for
    adjustments for your altitude.
    Altitude Feet Processing Time
    1,001 - 3,000 5 minutes
    3,001 - 6,000 10 minutes
    6,001 - 8,000 15 minutes
    8,001 - 10,000 20 minutes

  • Erica75 4 Nov, 2011

    I live in New Mexico and wonder since the elevation is high here if the amount of cooking time would still be the same?

  • malarsen 27 Oct, 2011

    This tasted so good! I used 25apples(5 different kinds sweets and tarts) and double the amount of spices but not the liquids. I did not have an anise pod. But it still worked out. I ran it through a mill. And got 8-1/2 pint jars.

  • healthymom1 27 Oct, 2011

    I made this last night. I forgot to buy apple cider so used water instead. It turned out great but I only got four and a half small jars out of it, so will double the recipe next time. It looks beautiful somewhat chunky in the jars.

  • reba12 21 Oct, 2011

    This recipe smells wonderful! I've got it in the crock pot right now and just washed the But my jars had hard water dust on the inside and out. I dried them off with paper towels, is that ok? And once they are sealed do I just store them in the cupboard?

  • Kimmyk28 20 Oct, 2011

    Here is another crock pot recipe that uses Splenda

  • Petee 20 Oct, 2011

    Can you use Splenda for this recipes?