Traditional Apple Butter Spread Recipe

Plate of Toast with Apple Butter
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  • 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 1 pint (32 servings)
Ratings (8)

Apple Butter is common throughout Eastern Europe. With only three ingredients in the recipe -- apples, water and sugar -- it was an easy project for an overabundance of fruit. And busy farmwives could enlist the aid of their children in the almost-constant stirring.

Today, we have microwaves and slow cookers that take the drudgery out of keeping a watchful eye on the pot. This recipe easily can be increased. It's low in sugar, as all fruit butters are, and makes a great topping for breads, rolls, ice cream and cakes.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound apples (washed, quartered, and cored)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

How to Make It

1. In a medium saucepan, combine apples and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low and simmer until apples look like applesauce, stirring occasionally.

2. Pass the puree through a sieve or food mill. Mix the strained puree with the sugar and spices and choose one of the following cooking methods.

  • Slow Cooker: Place sweetened pulp in a slow cooker with lid partially off to let steam escape. Set at low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-12 hours or overnight, or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.
     
  • Microwave: Place sweetened pulp in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 20 minutes at a time, stirring frequently until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.
     
  • Stovetop: Place sweetened pulp in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 1-2 hours or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.
     
  • Oven: Heat oven to 250 degrees. Place sweetened pulp in a heatproof casserole dish or roaster. Bake, stirring only occasionally, for 1-3 hours or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.

3. Place hot butter in hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Cover with hot sterilized lids and rings. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove to counter and allow to cool before storing in a cool, dry, dark place.


Note: If you don't process in a water bath, the butter can be kept refrigerated for up to three weeks or frozen for up to one year.

Note: Before attempting a home canning project, read what the Ball canning jars company has to say about it.