Apple butter does take time, so plan ahead. It doesn't require a lot of work, just time to breakdown and reduce. I started mine in the evening and by the next morning it was done. Now if you don't feel comfortable about leaving a slow cooker go all night, then start it in the early morning, and it will be done by evening. You need about 12 to 14 hours for the butter to be complete.
I also decided to can my apple butter, which will be holiday gifts this season. Now you don't have to can it, just simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will last several weeks.
4 to5 lbs of apples; peeled, cored and diced
2 3/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. cinnamon
Place the apples in a slow cooker. Mix together sugar and spices and sprinkle over apples. Start the slow cooker on high for three hours. Stir the apples once an hour. After three hours, turn the cooker down to low for 10 hours. Stir every few hours. Once the apples start to break down, whisk the mixture to break down lumps; do this every few hours. The apple butter will thicken and become smooth. For the last hour remove the lid to the cooker, and allow the mositure to evaporate, stirring with the whisk.
At this point you can store in a container in your refrigerator. I chose to process in a water canner for 15 minutes. My apples broke down a lot and I got 6 half pint jars.
Enjoy your apple butter on toast or a topping on pancakes. Heat it up and pour it over ice cream or pound cake for a quick dessert. You can also mix 1/2 c. apple butter with 8 oz cream cheese, for a dessert dip with fruit or pretzels.