Slow Cooker Vanilla Rum Apple Butter

Posted on 12 October 2012

Slow Cooker Vanilla Rum Apple Butter

There’s apple butter on my ceiling.

That’s the issue with making any kind of fruit butter on the stovetop. It gurgles; it burbles; it spits. It gets in your hair. It tries to blind you. At a minimum, you get burned. A lot.

That’s the beauty, I learned while making a second batch, of apple butter in the slow cooker. It’s never hot enough to burble. Your hair remains clean; your eyes undamaged. You are likely to emerge unscathed!

Slow Cooker Vanilla Rum Apple Butter

The downside is, of course, that it takes freaking forever. After 7 hours in the slow cooker, the apple butter was still not thick enough. I unplugged the slow cooker, put the insert with apple butter in the fridge, and waggled off to bed…only to restart the process in the morning.

But this method warrants the sacrifice. Besides not getting burned — always a big plus — the slow cooker offers convenience. Since the heating element’s temperature is never above 170 degrees F on the low setting, I could have started this recipe just before bed and let it run overnight, which I am likely to do for the next batch. Despite last week’s snow and frosts, there are bushels of apples left on the backyard tree.

Slow Cooker Vanilla Rum Apple Butter

I researched various fruit butter methods before trying them myself (because research is how I roll). Initially, I tried cooking the apples with the skins on and later food-milling the result. Not so good and not so easy to mill. Then I tried peeling and coring the apples — which also took freaking forever — and preferred the resulting texture after food-milling. The best (and arguably easiest) method was to peel and core the apples and to use the immersion blender to puree the cooked product.

So, was all this labor worth it? Matt said yes. He asserted that the consequent flavors were well-blended, while also remaining distinct. He’s already consumed 3/4 of a jar straight; I’ve had to hide the remaining 7. I suspect that this butter will be requested every fall.

A fine kick-off to Can It Up.

Slow Cooker Vanilla Rum Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Vanilla Rum Apple Butter

Yield: 8 8-ounce jars


6 lbs apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 cups sweet apple cider
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup rum
2 teaspoons ground vanilla (or vanilla extract)


Combine apples and apple cider. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 30 minutes.
Puree using an immersion blender, food mill, or food processor just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy. Measure 12 cups of apple puree.
In a large slow cooker, combine apple puree and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Prop lid open with using the handle of a wooden spoon and allow to reduce gently for about 8 hours.
Stir in rum and ground vanilla and cook for 1 hour. Finished apple butter will be thick and hold its shape on a spoon.
Can (process for 10 minutes) or refrigerate for up to 1 month. If it lasts that long.

Adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which I am giving away over here.

57 responses to Slow Cooker Vanilla Rum Apple Butter

  • […]  My original intent was to wait until early December, then slow-cook them down into apple butter (Vanilla Rum Apple Butter, to be exact) to give to neighbors and co-workers as holiday gifts.  But…now I’m not […]

  • […] out what food gifts I am going to be giving to neighbors, co-workers, etc.  Still fixated on Slow-Cooker Vanilla Rum Apple Butter, for the time […]

  • Connie Hocking says:

    The 6 lbs of apples only produced about 9 cups of purée.
    I’ve cit the sugar to 2 cups and will adjust from there.

  • brittany says:

    Do you puree the apples with the apple cider

  • Derrik says:

    If I can this and give them as christmas gifts, how long will they last in someones cupboard? Or should they be refridgerated the whole time and will they last awhile that way? This recipe sounds delicious, I just want to make sure the gift wont go bad shortly after they get it.

    • allfourburners says:

      Hi Derrik, the general guidelines is 6 months to 1 year for anything that is water-bath canned and kept on the shelf.

  • Janet says:

    Making this now almost ready to can them. But I was wondering why yours look lighter then mine? I still have to add the rum and I am going to use Captain Morgan’s Limited Edition of spiced Rum a Sherry Oak Finish. This Rum is so smooth tasting so it will be so good in this recipe I think!

  • Janet H. says:

    I am looking for a Apples and Rum recipe to can. This sounds great! But why do you use cider for the initial puree? I thought when I’ve made apple butter before, It was just with Apples and water…

    Thanks for submitting!

    • allfourburners says:

      Janet H., the addition of cider adds sweetness and extra apple-y flavor. I’ve made it as well with only water and added more sugar for sweetness.

  • Megan H. says:

    Is this acidic enough for a water bath canner or does it need to be pressure canned? Thanks!

  • Carly k says:

    I’m so looking forward to this! Two questions:
    What kind of apples did you use?
    What kind of rum did you use? Light/dark?

    • allfourburners says:

      Carly, I used a mix of apples for a more apple-y taste. And I used light rum, though dark could be equally delightful.

  • […]  Slow Cooker Vanilla Rum Apple Butter from All Four […]

  • Kat Jett says:

    Making this this morning. I have just last couple of hours in the crock this morning. Cooked with a vanilla bean, adding Molina mexican vanilla and spiced rum. It. Smells. Amazing.
    Thanks for the share.

  • Kerri says:

    Hello..this looks great! However, I need to leave out the rum, but wonder if I need to add other liquid? more cider? How strong is the rum flavor??
    thanks so much!

  • Leave a Response

    Subscribe without commenting

    Copyright © 2010-2014 All Four Burners. All Rights Reserved.