Crabapple Recipe: Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Crabapple Recipe: Slow Cooker Apple Butter

This crab apple butter recipe uses the small, tart apples and turns them into a delicious batch of slow cooker apple butter.

Yields approximately 7 cups of apple butter, and is easily multiplied.

Serving size is for 1 tablespoon of apple butter.

  • Prep Time: 1 hr
  • Cook Time: 7 hrs
  • Total Time: 8 hrs
  • Course: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 112 people

Calories: 21kcal

Author: Sarah Trenalone


  • slow cooker


  • 5 pounds crabapples Weigh apples before coring
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (white, brown, or turbinado), plus more if desired
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon


  • Quarter and core the apples. (Peel if desired, but it’s not necessary.) Alternatively: Skip coring, and use a food mill to remove the seeds before blending the apples (in step 3).
  • Add the apples, water, sugar, and lemon juice to the basin of a slow cooker.
  • Cook on high for about 2 hours, until the apples begin to break down. Use an immersion blender and blend the sauce. Alternatively: Ladle the apples into a regular blender or food processor, and then return it to the slow cooker.
  • Continue to cook the sauce for another 5-6 hours on high, until the apple mixture is thickened and golden brown. (Total cook time will be 7-8 hours.)
  • Add cinnamon. Taste, and add more sweetener if desired.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to a month or freeze for up to 6 months.



  • I want to make my apple butter sweeter, without adding more white sugar. Try replacing half the water with not-from-concentrate, no-sugar-added apple juice or apple cider to add natural sweetener to the apple butter.
  • My apple butter has a “gluey” consistency. This happens when you don’t add enough liquid to slow cooker when you start cooking, and the pectin in the crabapples over-thickens the apple butter. Make sure to add the full 3 cups of water for every 5 pounds of apples.
  • My apple butter didn’t turn brown. This happens when you don’t add the sugar to the apple butter when you start cooking. In apple butter made from larger, sweeter apples, the natural sugars in the apple caramelize, and the butter turns brown. Crabapples don’t have enough natural sugars, so you have to add the sugar at the beginning. (Also, keep in mind that most of the browning occurs at the very end of the cook time, between hours 6 and 8.)

Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Potassium: 24mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 2mg

Sourced with permission from:


Looking for more recipes that use up your crab apples?

Click here for the 20 Best Crab Apple Recipes article and be inspired!

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