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a jar of apple butter with a dish towel, a spoon, and an apple.
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5 from 1 vote

Maple and Bourbon Apple Butter - Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Maple & Bourbon Apple Butter is such a wonderful - and easy - way to enjoy apples. Just prep the apples and let your slow cooker do all the work. While it cooks, your house will fill up with all of the beautiful aromas of Fall - apples, cinnamon, maple, and bourbon.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time9 hrs 15 mins
Course: Breakfast, Condiments, Snack
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: apple butter, maple bourbon apple butter, slow cooker apple butter
Servings: 32
Calories: 46kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds apples, sliced Sweet Apples - Gala, Honeycrisp, or Macintosh - NOT Granny Smith
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup bourbon or substitute apple cider/juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon ground cloves

Optional

Instructions

Peel and Dice Your Apples

  • Begin by peeling and cutting up all of the apples. I like to use the attachment for my KitchenAid Mixer - it makes little piles of apple rings, and then I just slice the piles into quarters. It takes a LOT less time.
    an apple slicer slicing an apple.
  • If you do not have the mixer attachment, use a sharp paring knife to remove the skin from the apples - if you leave a little on, it's okay.
  • Next, cut the apples into quarters around the core, then roughly cut the meat of the apples into thin slices.
    a bowl of sliced apples being dumped in a crock pot.

In a Slow Cooker

  • Once apples are peeled and cut up, just add all of your ingredients to your slow cooker.
    a crockpot with sliced apples in it.
  • Mix it all together and top with a cinnamon stick if you want.
    a crockpot with apples coated in cinnamon and maple in it.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on High for 4 - 5 hours, stirring halfway through the cooking process. The apples will get a little softer and they will smell like boozy cider.
    a crockpot with cooked apples coated in cinnamon in it.
  • When 8 hours (on low) or 4 hours (on high) has elapsed the apples should be really soft.
    a crockpot with cooked apples in it.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree the apples. (If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer the apples to a blender or a food processor and carefully blend them up. Blending hot ingredients is dangerous, so be careful that you don't burn yourself.)
    a crockpot with cooked apples in it and an immersion blender.
  • Return the blended apples to the hot crockpot. At this point, you will basically have thick applesauce (you can stop here if you want applesauce - it is REALLY yummy!)
    a crockpot with apple butter, an immersion blender, and a red spatula in it.
  • The last step is to turn the heat off but leave the lid on the crockpot and let it sit for one more hour. The residual heat will thicken the butter up and make it so good.
    a crock pot with apple butter in it.
  • After an hour has passed, stir the butter and transfer to jars. Let the butter cool and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for about three weeks or you can freeze it for 3 to 4 months (just make sure to leave room in your jars for expansion.)

On the Stove

  • Add all ingredients to a large pot or dutch oven and bring the heat to medium/medium-low. Once the liquids start to boil/bubble, stir and reduce heat to low.
  • Let apples cook for 45 minutes - 1 hour, stirring every 15 - 20 minutes.
  • After 1 hour, the apples should be really soft. If they are not, cook for another 30 minutes.
  • Next, use an immersion blender to puree the apples. (If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer the apples to a blender or a food processor and carefully blend them up. Blending hot ingredients is dangerous, so be careful that you don't burn yourself.)
  • Return the blended apples to the warm pot. At this point, you will basically have thick applesauce (you can stop here if you want applesauce - it is REALLY yummy!)
  • Turn the heat off but leave the lid on the pot and let it sit on the burner for one more hour. The residual heat will thicken the butter up and make it so good.
  • After an hour has passed, stir the butter and transfer to jars. Let the butter cool and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for about three weeks or you can freeze it for 3 to 4 months (just make sure to leave room in your jars for expansion.)

Notes

Maple Bourbon Apple Butter will keep in the fridge for 3 weeks or in the freezer for 3 to 4 months. Remember that it is not shelf-stable, so if you give it as a gift, make sure it is kept cold.
Tips
  • Make apple butter early in the day so that it has plenty of time to cool before you need to put it away.
  • You can prepare this apple butter long in advance of needing to use it and store it in the freezer, allowing 24 hours in the refrigerator to defrost. (Stir before serving as it might separate while defrosting.)
  • If you taste the apples before blending them up - they are SO good. You can eat them as stewed apples, puree some as maple bourbon applesauce, or as the recipe suggests - continue cooking to make apple butter!
 
Frequently Asked Questions
I don't drink alcohol - can I use something else in place of bourbon?
Of course. If you don't want to use bourbon, replace it with apple juice or apple cider - just reduce the amount of maple that you use as the juice will add sugar and the apple butter will get very sweet.
Can this apple butter be canned?
Unfortunately, no. This recipe has not been tested for canning.
What kind of apples are best for making apple butter?
Contrary to what you might think, you want to use sweet apples for making apple butter unlike baking, where you use more tart apples like Granny Smith. For apple butter, I like to use Gala, Honey Crisp (favorite), Macintosh, or Fuji. Red or Golden Delicious apples are sweet and flavorful as well - almost like honey, but I have noticed that they are a little juicier, so if you use these varieties, you might need to cook your apples longer to get them to fully thicken up into butter.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 46kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 23IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg