This apple butter has all of the best flavors of autumn and winter with warming accents including brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. I make it in a slow cooker so it's super easy and hands-off! For this recipe, I like to use an even mix of Fuji, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp apples. Before making the butter, taste your apples. If they are exceptionally sweet, reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup. Serve over warm biscuits, toast, or on pancakes!
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, and salt. Place apples in a slow cooker, sprinkle with the sugar, and mix. Place the cinnamon stick and sage in the slow cooker. Set to low for eight hours.
After about eight hours, check the apples. They should be broken down and releasing juices. Remove the sage leaves and cinnamon stick. Discard the sage and set the cinnamon stick aside. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender), puree the apple butter. If you're doing this in a regular blender, be sure to leave some space so it doesn't explode. Place the apple butter back in the slow cooker.
Add the vanilla and cinnamon stick, stirring well. Cook for another two hours on high until dark brown and thickened. You can cook it longer for thicker apple butter. Remove the cinnamon stick and discard. Cool the sage apple butter and store in jars for up to a week.