I’m not sure where apple butter has been all my life, but I recently discovered it and wow it’s amazing. I want to put it on everything: pancakes and English muffins and toast and ice cream. And graham crackers. Don’t get me wrong, I love homemade jam, but right now it’s apple butter all the way. Caramel apple butter, to be exact. I combined a few recipes to come up with an easy way to make apple butter in the slow cooker, adding in a hefty dose of melted caramel to take it from delicious to divine.
And then because it’s so pretty and yummy (and my big batch of apples made such a big batch of apple butter) I made a cute little label to put on jars of the stuff for an easy, inexpensive DIY Christmas gift.
You can use any kind of apples you like for this recipe, but different apples will yield slightly different results. The first time I made this recipe I used mostly Jazz apples, which are tart-sweet, and the end result was an extremely flavorful apple butter. The second time I made it I tried using Red Delicious apples, since they’re so inexpensive, and I tossed in a couple of Granny Smiths for good measure. That batch had a slightly mellow-er flavor, still very delicious, but I have to say I prefer the first batch. (If you do use Red Delicious apples, you can probably decrease the sugar amount from what’s listed in the recipe.)
But both batches were fantastic and something I’d be proud to give as a gift (and I’m pretty picky about that). If you do use Red Delicious apples, you can make an entire batch for under $10.
My batch yielded about 7 cups of apple butter. I split that up into 12 4-oz jars and 2 8-oz jars, so that makes a lot of gifts! You can see the different sizes of the jars in the photo below. Links to the jars I used: 4 oz jars | 8 oz jars
Be aware that your yield may vary a little depending on how long you cook the apple butter for. If you stop when it’s a medium caramel color, like you see here, it will be plenty thick to spread nicely. This is what you get if you cook the apple butter for 1 hour after blending (as directed in the recipe).
But if you want it a deeper brown and even thicker (so that when you tip the jar upside down it won’t move from the bottom) you can cook it longer, which will reduce it further and give you a smaller yield. This would probably take 2+ hours of cooking time after blending. If you do decide to cook it longer, be sure to give it a stir every once in a while to make sure it doesn’t burn.
One last note: I used the HIGH setting on my slow cooker to make this apple butter because I didn’t want it to take so long. However, you could also use the low setting and double the time listed (for example to let it cook overnight). If you are going to decrease the amounts to make a half batch, it will cook faster, so watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
And you can download the printable tags by clicking here. I recommend printing them on cardstock. If you print at 100% they will fit the jar lids for these jars: 4 oz jars | 8 oz jars