Recipe: Sweet Sophia’s Slow-Cooked Honey Spiced Apple Butter

  • Prep Time:  45 min
  • Cook Time:   12-14 hours


    • 10 lbs Apples
    • 2 cups Apple Cider
    • 2 cups Honey
    • 1 TB Cinnamon
    • 1.5 tsp Ginger
    • .75 tsp Nutmeg
    • .75 tsp Cardamom
    • .5 tsp Cloves
    • What You’ll Need:
      • Food Mill
      • Slow Cooker
      • immersion blender

      For this recipe, you will need a large crock pot and a food mill.  My personal choice for the food mill is the Cuisipro Delux.  You will also want to consider timing on this recipe.  Give yourself about 45 minutes to prep the apples, then about 12-14 hours to cook.  You probably don’t want to get up at 3 am to turn off your crock pot.   Maybe you do…

      Start with 10 lbs of apples.  The type of apple will have an impact on your final flavor.  Sour apples will become sourer (more sour?), and sweet apples will become sweeter.  A solid choice is Red Delicious.  A little experimenting is just fine here…mix it up a bit if you like.

      Core and chop all the apples.  Style is irrelevant at this point, as the apples will not be looked at for your consistent symmetrical chops.  We chop to get them cooked through.   Don’t worry about peeling them.  Add the chopped apples to a large Dutch oven.  Add the apple cider and let the apples cook over med-low heat for about 20-25 minutes until soft.

      • While the apples are cooking, prep your food mill with the medium screen. Place the food mill over the crock pot bowl. Spoon the cooked apples into the food mill.
      • Grind the apples into the crock pot bowl. You will need to clean out the skins several times. When you finish, you will have a nice large bowl of apple sauce.
      • Add honey and spices. Mix well.
      • Set the slow cooker to low, and ensure you leave some space for the apple butter to vent. We are basically reducing down the apples and concentrating the flavors, so we need the moisture to escape. I use bamboo skewers to rest the lid on. Stir occasionally.
      • Enjoy the smell of your house for the next 12 hours. The apples will take on a dark brown color and the volume will be reduced about 50%. They are ready for the blender.
      • Using an immersion or hand blender, mix the apples until smooth. This may take several minutes.
      • Just HOW smooth depends on your preference, but apple butter is supposed to be pretty smooth.
      • Once the apple butter is smooth, it’s ready to eat. If you plan on canning any for later or for awesome gifts, you will need to take the next steps to can your apple butter. Prep your jars by boiling both jars and canning lids for 10 minutes.
      • Using a canning funnel, ladle the apple butter into the sterile jars. Ensure you leave ¼ inch space below the rim of the jar. Tighten the jars to slightly snug only. It’s important not to overtighten the jars, or the air can’t get out when boiling.
      • Place your jars back into the water bath and boil for 10 minutes.
      • Remove the jars from the water. Tighten the lids just to the point of resistance. Allow to cool for several hours. Make sure the safety seals on the lids pop down as they cool.
      • Keep in mind that apple butter is not jelly or jam and will not gel as such. Enjoy!