In Season in Pennsylvania: Slow Cooker Apple Butter

What do you use your slow cooker for? Chili? Soups? Pulled pork? Yes, we love classic Crock-Pot recipes too, but there are so many more ways to use these handy appliances than for savory stews and braises. One of our most favorite recent discoveries is slow cooker apple butter; this iconic PA food is seriously one of the best and most versatile condiments. It can sub in for jam on any breakfast carb (it’s heaven on buttermilk pancakes), add a little something-something to a grilled cheese or chicken panini or be stirred into salad dressing, marinades and sauces at dinner time, bringing a rich apple sweetness with it wherever it goes.

While the idea of homemade apple butter might conjure images of standing over a stove for hours, stirring a bubbling pot, there’s no need for all that work if you put your slow cooker to work. We suggest making a batch overnight to wake up to the glorious aromas of apples and cinnamon, and adding a nice spoonful to your morning oatmeal or spreading it on multigrain toast from your local bakery. It’s one of the coziest ways to greet the day that we can imagine! For best results, use a mix of sweet and tart apples from a Pennsylvania orchard or your community farmers market; much like applesauce, apple butter is an easy DIY project to use up apples that are bruised or a bit past their prime for eating raw.

Check out our video for the technique, then head here for the full recipe for PA Eats’ slow cooker apple butter!