This is probably the easiest thing I’ve made on this site. Seriously, don’t be afraid of this. With a crock pot and a little patience, you’ve got a ton of delicious pumpkin apple butter your mama would be proud of.
If you’d prefer to use canned pumpkin, skip down to the pictures of apples. However, this was really, really easy.
Cut the pumpkin in half and dig out the seeds.
For this recipe, we don’t need the pieces to be pretty, just small, so that it cooks quickly. I’m using 1/2 small pie pumpkin for this recipe.
Cut the peel off and chop into small chunks.
Wrap in foil with a touch of oil.
After a while, maybe 20-30 minutes, check to see if it’s tender. It’s going to cook for another 20-something hours, so don’t worry if it’s not totally done. Actually, you may be able to just put raw pumpkin in the crock pot, but I was already cooking a bunch of pumpkin anyway, so feel free to experiment.
Here’s my bag o’ apples. 3 lbs. to be exact. I’m sure there’s a right and wrong apple to use, but I just used Gala for this.
Core, peel, and chop the whole bag and add them to your slow cooker.
Add about a cup of sugar on top. If you want your apple butter very, very sweet, you could use 1.5 cups, I wouldn’t overdo it. I like it not as sweet.
Add a big pinch of salt and spices to it–cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, cardamom, whatever floats your boat. If you have no idea what to use or how much, your ratio is probably 5x cinnamon to 1x everything else. Or, just use maybe 1 T. pumpkin pie mix if you’re completely clueless.
Add the pun’kin.
Add about 1 cup of water and squish around there with a spoon so it all comes together. It may feel weird to not add more water, but the apples are going to break down in their own juices, so don’t worry. Now’s a good time to have a bite to make sure it’s not awful.
Put the lid on, and cook on low for about 24 hours. It could cook as less as 20 and as much as 30-35 hours, depending on what’s convenient for you. *Side Note: I cooked it on high heat overnight, but when I woke up, it almost smelled burnt. So, just go with low.*
Feel free to stir it every few hours, or at least a few times during the process. It should be pretty chunky, but dark brown, like this.
Dump it in a food processor or blender, and pulverize the heck out of it. Taste it and adjust seasonings to your preference. If it tastes a little weird, don’t worry too much. After it sits overnight, it’ll taste MUCH better.
*Side note: Mine was really, really sweet at about this stage. So I added a little more pumpkin, salt and cinnamon to tone it down a little. It totally worked.*
Use however you please. If you’re an apple butter newbie, start with a nice piece of toast. I had mine on a pumpkin muffin and it was a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
If you know how to can stuff, this is the best stuff ever to can! If you made a ton, like I did, and don’t know what to do with it….
Keep enough for you, and give some away to friends! Future Christmas present? Hmm…
- 3 lbs. Apples – $4.95
- 1/2 Pie Pumpkin – $.99
- $5.94 total
Honestly, not real sure how to break down the costs for 1 serving. It’s probably like 5 cents a serving, seriously. All I know is that Cracker Barrel’s apple butter is $5.99 for a jar and mine was at least 3 jars worth. To make up for my lack of pricing, here are 5 more reasons you should make this and not buy it:
- It’s cheaper.
- You know what’s in it.
- You can control the flavor and add/subtract what you like/don’t like.
- It’s ridiculously easy.
- You’ll impress your grandmother.