Quick somebody make some biscuits. I currently have four jars of crabapple butter in my fridge, and I’m dying to crack one open. The smell. The taste. The color. It’s fall in a jar.
If you’ve never cooked with crabapples (or didn’t even realize they were edible), this crabapple butter recipe is the perfect introduction to what you’ve been missing.
Crabapples are loaded with pectin, so they cook down to the perfect, spreadable consistency for fruit butter. And while they’re much too tart to eat straight off the tree, they have such an amazing depth of flavor, once you sweeten them.
But don’t take my word for it. Make some, and see for yourself.
This crabapple butter is made in the slow cooker, so it’s mostly hands-off. But you will have to cut up the crabapples and cook them down into sauce first.
Cutting up crabapples is admittedly a bit of a chore. I recommend securing a buddy to help you. It’ll make the job go a lot faster.
Save the juice in the bottom of your pot after making the crabapple sauce, and you can use it to make crabapple jelly or crabapple syrup (recipe coming soon). Getting two products out of one batch of crabapples will make all that chopping worthwhile. Promise.
Crabapple Butter Recipe
This recipes makes 4 pints of crabapple butter, plus a bit extra for you to sample, while it’s still warm.
What You Do:
Whip up a batch of unsweetened crabapple sauce following my recipe here. If you use green crabapples, your sauce will come out the same color as normal applesauce.
If you use red crabapples, it’ll be a gorgeous orangey-red color, like this.
Pour your homemade crabapple sauce in a crockpot. Then, stir in all the other ingredients.
Cook on high, with the lid off for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. The crabapple butter will darken and develop a thick, paste-like consistency.
Enjoy your crabapple butter warm; refrigerate it; freeze it or place it in sterilized jars, and process it in a waterbath canner for 20 minutes.
Crabapple butter will keep in the fridge for at least few weeks. Canned or frozen crabapple butter is best used within a year (but is still safe to eat after a year).
I prefer to freeze my crabapple butter in Ball pint freezer jars.
Want to Make a Bigger or Smaller Batch of Crabapple Butter?
Just adjust the ingredients accordingly. This recipe halves and doubles beautifully.
If you’re just getting started with crabapples, here’s how to tell when they’re ripe, and here’s a good beginner’s guide to foraging for crabapples. It covers tree identification, when to harvest and more.
- 8 cups crabapple sauce (from 6 pounds crabapples) see recipe on myfrugalhome.com
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Stir to combine.
Cook on high, with the lid off (stirring occasionally), for 4 hours, or until you reach your desired consistency. It should be thick, pasty and dark brown, when it’s done.
Refrigerate your crab apple butter for up to 3 weeks. Freeze it, or process it in a water bath canner for 20 minutes, to store it indefinitely.
Halve or double this recipe to make as much or as little crabapple butter as you want.
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Category: Fruit Butters
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: crabapple butter recipe, slow cooker crabapple butter recipe, crockpot crabapple butter recipe
Getting into Foraging?
Print out a copy of my free foraging journal to keep track of your foraging finds, so you’ll know where to go back to next year.