Apple Butter Recipe

| March 4, 2013 | 93 Comments

Apple Butter, serving
Follow our step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions for this delicious Apple Butter Recipe.  This is just another in our Canning 101 series of recipes for preserving our heritage, one jar at a time.  Apple Butter is really easy to make despite the fact that it takes a little bit of time to slow cook it to perfection.  Your family will love it and, it makes a great gift item for those special folks on your gift giving list.


Apple Butter, various varieties of apples.

I love seeing a beautiful display of apples in baskets.  I’m not sure why that is but, it just makes the world look all that much better.  It also makes me want to just go up and pick up one apple from each basket and take a big bite out of it.  I have to resist that temptation though.

Visits to the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, here in North Carolina, always bring back lots of memories from my childhood.  Its about an hours drive from where I live but, I visit there as much as I can.  I may not buy a lot but I sure do enjoy walking through the open market area, talking with vendors and, trying a few of the samples they are always eager to share.

It was super cold this past week when I visited the market.  Although the vendors are under a long shelter, the market is open on both sides and there aren’t many days of “perfect” weather for them to enjoy.  It’s either way cold or sizzling hot but, many of them are there all the year around.

I saw lots of sweet potatoes, collard greens, turnip greens, some onions and other root vegetables.  Shelled pecans were abundant albeit a little pricey but, they were fresh and that made them worth their price I think.  I paid 9.00 for a one pound bag.  A few strawberries were available and of course… apples.


Apple Butter, apples
This basket really caught my attention.  They were reduced because of a few bad spots but, overall, they looked to be in pretty good shape to me and tasted great as well.  That got me to thinking about how I never made that Apple Butter I had wanted to make back in the fall so, I quickly purchased about 6lbs.  About the time I started going through this basket, the lady piled another bunch right on top and they looked even better.  I wish now I had bought more but, that’s the way it goes.

I could see the coldness in the ladies fingers as she handed me my change.  I have to admire those folks for all the hard work they do to bring all their goods to market.  Not only do they work hard in the orchards and fields, they have to fight the elements just to make a sale.  I hope you’ll support the local farmers in your area every chance you get.

She kept smiling though and even offered me a sample of the Apple Cider that was in the jugs you can see in the photo.  I thanked her for it but told her I’d have to wait on that until next time around.  It was delicious though.

As a child, my father worked several garden areas and sold produce from a roadside stand in front of our house.  I had it easy as he let me run the fruit stand most of the time and that meant I got to watch cartoons in between customers stopping by.  We didn’t grow apples but we did sell them.  Daddy bought them from trucks that came all the way from the mountains with fresh apples about once a week.  Yep, I ate my fair share of them as well.  Apples from the grocery store these days don’t even come close to what we had back then.  Today, they’re just suppose to look good and taste has to take a back seat to looks.  Sad but… true.


Apple Butter, slider
Apple Butter Recipe:


Most people suggest you use a couple of different varieties of apples when making Apple Butter.  I decided I’d just stick with the Jonagold variety that I found for .49 cents a pound.  I might be a bit frugal that way.

As it turns out, they made for some delicious Apple Butter and, I now I’m really wishing I had bought more.  Maybe I can find them again before the supply dwindles too far.  I used 5 pounds of raw apples and could have made 5 half pint jars of Apple Butter from this recipe.  I didn’t have the half pint jars on hand so, I went ahead and filled a couple of pint jars instead.

It may seem like a lot of work for 2-1/2 pints of Apple Butter but it really isn’t.  Had I had the half pint jars, I’d been able to make some for me and some to share.  I’ve been enjoying the open jar for the past couple of days and I’ll hang on to the pints for awhile longer.  Just in case I don’t get to make more, I’ll have two pints that I can enter into competition when our local and State Fair roll around.  I seriously doubt they will last until Fall so I guess I need to be on the look out for some more apples very soon.

I will point out that it took me about 6 hours to cook these down.  I did it over two days though so it wasn’t a problem.  Besides, your kitchen and your whole house will smell absolutely DELICIOUS for days afterwards.  I’d also like to point out that while I added the Lemon zest and juice of one whole lemon, the Apple Butter had a bit of a tart taste to it throughout much of the cooking process.  I was afraid it might have been too much but now that it’s been in the refrigerator for a few days, I like it all that much the better.  It pretty much blended right in.

While this isn’t a really in depth recipe for the canning process, I’ll show you how it’s done.  You can print out the full recipe at the bottom for making the Apple Butter.  It can also be frozen if you’d rather do that instead of  canning it.  Either way, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.  So, if you’re ready… Let’s Get Cooking.


Apple Butter, ingredients.
Apple Butter Recipe:  You’ll need these ingredients.


Apple Butter, wash the apples.
I’m using 5 pounds of apples.  Its enough for a “small batch” of Apple Butter.  Begin by washing the apples very well under cool running water.


Apple Butter, slice the apples.
Slice the apples into quarters or, smaller size pieces if the apples are really large.  You don’t have to worry about peeling them or coring them.  You could of course but, why waste the flavor in the skins or the pectin in the core.  The Jonagold apples I’m using here were fairly soft, too soft in fact to peel with the Apple-Peeler-Corer-Slicer, made by Pampered Chef, that I picked up a few months back at a local auction for $4.00.  I’ll spare you that picture.


Apple Butter, add water.
Grab a large sauce pot and add 3 cups of water.


Apple Butter, add vinegar.
Add the vinegar.


Apple Butter, bring to a boil.
Place the sauce pot over Medium-High heat and bring the mixture to a slight rolling boil.


Apple Butter, add the apples.
Toss the apples in.  As you can see, this amount filled my pot pretty good.


Apple Butter,
Cover the pot, reduce the heat to Medium and, let them simmer for about 30-45 minutes.  You’ll need to stir them down about every 10 minutes or so.  Just make sure they all get into the hot liquid at some point and, they will need to continue to cook until they’re soft enough to mash with a fork.


Apple Butter, cooked down.
They will eventually break down and begin to look something like this.


Apple Butter, seive
You will need a food mill or a sieve to press the apples through.  I bought this one at the auction for 2.00 but it didn’t have the stand or the pestle.

In case you don’t have either of these, you can still make Apple Butter.  I’d suggest that you go ahead and peel and core the apples before cooking.  Place the peelings and the core pieces in some cheesecloth and toss it into the pot while the apples cook so you’ll still get the benefits from the flavor of those pieces.  Then, you can just toss them when the apples have cooked down.  At that point, you could use a food processor or Immersion Blender to continue to break down the cooked apples.  Just don’t liquefy it.  While it’s probably the simplest way of doing it, I just wanted to do it the hard way.  After All, I bought this seive to use for something and this seemed like a good something to use it for.


Apple Butter, spoon the apples into the seive.
Spoon some of the apples into the sieve.  Place it all over a big bowl because it can get a bit messy at this point.


Apple Butter, press the apples.
I used the back of a wooden spoon to press the apples since I didn’t have the pestle that actually goes with the sieve.  It worked very well though and didn’t take very long to process the entire batch.


Apple Butter, pressing apples.
The holes seemed so small that, at first, I wondered if anything would go through.  It didn’t take long though before the bowl started filling up.


Apple Butter, pressed.
I ran all the apples through the sieve, including the juice that was left in the pot.  After about 10-15 minutes, if that long, I had pressed all of the apples through the sieve and had just a handful of apple peels and the cores remaining.  I tossed those away of course.


Apple Butter, measure the puree.
Measure the puree and make note of that amount.  I just placed it back in the sauce pot at this point.  And, I had 9 cups of puree.


Apple Butter, spice bag.
I also had to improvise a bit with a couple of spices.  I didn’t have Ground Allspice or Ground Cloves but, I did have the Whole Allspice and Whole Cloves.  I took a small piece of cheesecloth and placed the whole spices on top of that.


Apple Butter, tie up the spice bag.
Then, I tied up the spices to make a small spice bag.  The printable recipe calls for Ground Spices just so you will know.


Apple Butter, zest the lemon.
Zest one small lemon.  Be sure to roll the lemon on your countertop a few times first.  You’re going to get the juice from it in the next steps.  A Microplane comes in very handy for zesting lemons.


Add 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar to the pot of apple puree.

Please note this step carefully.  The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of Sugar for every cup of puree.  I wanted to add some Brown Sugar so my first 1/2 cup is Brown Sugar and the remainder of what I needed will be White Sugar.  Make sense?  I had 9 cups of Apple puree and I’m going to use 4 cups of sugar to complete the recipe.  You could use even less sugar if desired… it’s up to you on this one.  More or less sugar will not affect the outcome of the Apple Butter other than how sweet it actually tastes.


Apple Butter, add white sugar.
Now, I’m adding 1/2 cup of White Sugar.  Thus far, that’s a total of ONE cup.


Apple Butter, add remaining sugar needed.
Add the remaining amount of sugar needed based on the actual amount of puree that you measured out previously.


Apple Butter, stir until sugar dissolves.
Stir it around until the sugar dissolves.


Apple Butter, add cinnamon.
Add the Cinnamon.  Stir it around until it’s well incorporated.  Scoop up from the bottom and mix it in that way, otherwise, it’ll just float on top.


Apple Butter, add lemon zest.
Add the Lemon zest.  Did you know that lemon zest will eat holes in a Styrofoam plate if you let it sit for awhile?  Trust me on this one.


Apple Butter, add lemon juice.
Add the juice from the lemon, being careful to not let any seeds slip in.


Apple Butter, add nutmeg.
Add the Nutmeg.


Apple Butter, add vanilla extract.
Add the Vanilla Extract.


Apple Butter, add spice bag.
Add the Ground Allspice and the Ground Cloves or, in my case, I’m adding the spice bag I made.  I’ll take it out once it’s cooked down.


Apple Butter, add a pinch of salt.
Add just a pinch of Salt.


Apple Butter, stir well.
Stir it all up really good.  Congratulations… you’ve just made Applesauce.


Apple Butter, cover and refrigerate.
At this point, I opted to cover mine and refrigerate it over night.  Depending on the time of day, you could of course go ahead and start cooking it down instead.  Lots of people use a crock pot to cook the puree down.  That wasn’t my intentions though.  I have a crock pot, I just didn’t have one large enough to hold all of the puree.

I wrapped the sauce pot in plastic wrap, placed the cover back on top and refrigerated the applesauce puree until the next day.


Apple Butter, prepare to cook down.
Let’s begin cooking our Apple Butter.  As you can see, it is of the texture of Applesauce at this point.  It’s a bit thin and watery and we need to cook that liquid pretty much out.  After tasting it, I was a bit concerned that I had too much Lemon juice, it was pretty tart and, I was fearful I might have messed it up.  The suspense mounts!

Place the sauce pot on a very LOW setting on your stove top.  I was about two notches up from the lowest setting on my stove, yours may vary.  You just want to cook it low and slow to evaporate the water out.  This will take about 5-6 hours so plan your day accordingly.  I used a timer and stirred the pot about every 30 minutes for the first 4 hours and then about every 15 minutes for the next 2 hours.

Please Note:  Once the liquid starts to really cook out, the Apple Butter will start forming those volcanoes and can splatter EVERYWHERE.  It’s also very HOT when it hits your skin.  Just saying, not that I experienced any of this but, its my duty to tell you and warn you of such things as much ahead of time as I possibly can.  You can thank me later.

Also note that your kitchen, your house, your neighbors house… will smell absolutely DELICIOUS throughout this entire process.  I kept thinking I needed to go out and do some Christmas shopping or maybe sing some carols or something.  It really did smell good through the whole process.  Just keep stirring it so it doesn’t burn on the bottom, that would be terrible.  It would ruin that lovely aroma as well I’m sure.  Be sure to scrape the bottom each time so nothing is sticking as you go.

After about 3 hours, I placed a couple of wooden skewers across the top of the sauce pot and set the lid on top of that.  This allowed the apples to cook down and vent any steam away.  If you keep a tight lid on it, that just adds more moisture and prolongs the process.  Keep this in mind also if you’re using a crock pot.  You could do the same thing to prop open the lid a bit.  Not too much though, remember, it WILL bubble and splatter.


Apple Butter, final cookdown.
After about 6 hours of slow cooking, this is what I had.  It was getting late and again, I stopped for the day.  I let it cool, wrapped it in clear plastic wrap again and set it in the refrigerator over night.  Of course, depending on the time of day, you could move onto the next steps of canning if you desire to do that.  Once it’s cooked down sufficiently, you could also just let it cool, place it in freezer cartons and freeze it.  Your choice.


Apple Butter, stove setup for canning.
I’m going to can up mine even though its a small batch.  This is my typical setup for canning just about anything that can be canned using the water bath process.

This will not be a complete tutorial on How-T0-Can but will give you the basics for it.  If you have some canning experience it will be easy to follow but you’ll need to learn a few more things if this is your first attempt at canning.  I’ve got some other recipes that go into a bit more detail and I invite you to check those out for more information.

Here’s the setup:  On the front left side of the stove is my apple butter.  I’m going to let it cook down a bit more before I actually can it up.  The canning pot is filled with water and sits on the front right of the stove.  On the back left hand side is a small pot with WARM water in which I keep on very low heat.  This pot has my lids and bands in it.  The back right side burner is just a pot of extra water that I always keep hot so I can add it to the canner as needed.

I washed my jars and bands in warm soapy water, rinsed them and placed them inside the canner to sterilize them.  I’ll get this water up to a good rolling boil and let the jars stay in it for about 15 minutes to sterilize.  You may have a dishwasher that has a setting that can do the same but, be sure of that before you try to use it to sterilize your jars.

I leave the jars in the hot water until I’m ready to use them.  Just minutes before removing the Apple Butter from the burner, I use tongs to remove the jars and set them on a folded towel at my prep area.  Then, I turn the canner pot back up to get the water to a rolling boil once again.


Apple Butter, final cookdown.
I’ve let the Apple Butter cook down some more and it’s very hot at this point.  I’m having to stir it constantly because it’s making some large bubbles and yes, it’s hot when it hits your skin.  You don’t want it to cook down too much but just enough to make it a good spreadable butter.


Apple Butter, bands and lids.
You must ALWAYS use NEW lids when canning anything.  That’s the red and white, thin, flat part in the pot above.  NEVER try to re-use lids when canning.  The bands MAY be re-used many times however.  Just be sure to wash them well, in soapy water and rinse them.  As I stated, I place these in warm water and keep it on the lowest setting on my stove until ready to use.  This warm water helps to soften that red rubber band that you see so it will seal with the jar.  You should always check your jars and your bands for any chips in the glass or any dents in the bands that might prevent a proper seal.  Again, these are just some basics and not intended to be a full explanation of the canning process.


Apple Butter, counter setup.
I also like to get all the other items I’ll need ready so that once the Apple Butter is ready to process, I can move quickly to get the jars filled.  I’ve got my jar lifter on the left, funnel, headspace measuring device, which also doubles as a unit to remove air bubbles… plus… the magnetic wand to lift lids and bands with.  The plate just makes cleanup a bit easier.


Apple Butter, testing.
Before I got too far along, I placed a saucer in the freezer part of my refrigerator.  This is used to test the consistency of the Apple Butter and also is used as a way to test most jellies, jams and preserves.  Remove the saucer from the freezer, add a spoonful of the apple butter then, swipe your finger through it.  If it leaves a trail and doesn’t run back together, it’s a pretty sure bet that your butter is ready.  You can also see a little runoff of water from the butter towards the bottom of the photo.  It’s thick enough but needs to cook just a few minutes longer I think.  If you over cook it though, it will become like plastic inside the jar and doesn’t turn out to be a very good spreadable butter.

I think most folks that can jams and jellies will admit, if being honest, they have at one time or another had this to happen to them.  Its part of the learning process and even after years of canning, it can still happen.  It has happened to me so I learn a little more each time.  Just don’t be discouraged if it should happen.  The product is probably still edible but not something you’d like to give as a gift.  Just keep at it and next time will be better… I promise.


Apple Butter, funnel.
You’ll need a funnel for adding the butter into the jar.  I have two plastic ones but I just love this old metal one that I have.


Apple Butter, ladle into jars.
Carefully ladle the apple butter into your jars.


Apple Butter, measuring headspace.
The “Ball Blue Book guide to preserving,” says Apple Butter needs a 1/4 inch amount of headspace.  I’m using the tool that came with my canning kit to measure this as pictured above.


Apple Butter, remove air bubbles.
Next, I use a wooden skewer to remove any air bubbles that might be inside the jar.  I just run it around the inside of the edges of the jar to let any bubbles travel up the skewer to the top where they can burst.  I only saw one or two in the apple butter but sometimes, depending on what you’re working with, you can have a lot of them.  You need to work out as many as possible for a good seal and good presentation.


Apple Butter, clean the jar tops.
Use a clean, damp cloth, to wipe the top rim of each jar.  Also, carefully wipe around the outside top of the threads on the jar.  Make sure the top is totally clean so that there aren’t any food particles that might prevent the jar from sealing properly.


Apple Butter, add the lid.
Use the magnetic lid lifter to remove one of the lids from the pot of warm water.  Shake it gently, without touching the bottom side and, place the lid on top of the jar.


Apple Butter, place a band on the jar.
Use the magnetic wand again to remove one of the bands from the pot of warm water.  Shake it gently to remove excess water and then center it over the lid on top of the jar.  Some water droplets on the band and lid will not be a problem, it’s best not to towel dry them.  Gently twist the band, making sure it’s going on correctly and tighten it just “finger tight,” on the jar.  Do not over tighten it.


Apple Butter, place in canner.
Place the wire rack inside your canner, hanging it on the first notches to the outside rim of the canner.  This will support your jars mostly out of water as you load the canner.  Use the jar lifter to carefully lift each jar and place it in the rack.


Apple Butter, lower the jars.
Use some oven mitts or, as I do, some tongs and, lower the entire rack into the canner.  The jars need to be under at least one inch of water.  This is why I keep extra water heating up on my back burner.  After I’ve sterilized my jars, the water level has dropped.  I can use that hot water to quickly get the water back to a rolling boil inside the canner.


Apple Butter, cover and process.
Place the cover on the canner and process the jars as directed.  Process times will vary depending on the Altitude of where you leave.  That’s ALTITUDE and not Attitude of how you feel that day.  (Smile)  Be sure to check with the Ball Blue Book guide to preserving or your local Agricultural Extension Office for proper times to process for your area on anything you might intend to can up.  For me, it was 10 minutes.  Start timing it once the jars are under the proper amount of water and the water has started boiling.


Apple Butter, lift from water.
After the jars have finished their processing time, remove the lid and set it aside.  Using mitts or tongs again, carefully raise the handles of the rack and hook them back over the top of the canner pot.  The jars need to sit here for about 5 minutes before you remove them.

With such little headspace, my jars were “pinging” just about as soon as they came out of the water.  I’m not sure what it says about me but, I really do enjoy hearing those lids “ping” or, pop as the jars seal tight.  It’s like a pat on the back or something that you’ve done it right.  As a child, I remember waiting around in the kitchen when Mama took jars out of the canner.  She always wanted me to count the number of pings so we could be sure each jar had sealed properly.

After 5 minutes, use the jar lifter and carefully lift each jar from the canner.  Place the jars on a folded towel placed on your counter top.  Jars should be placed in a draft free area and allowed to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours.  You need them on a folded towel because so many folks these days have Granite Counter tops.  Placing a hot jar on one of those cool counter tops is likely to cause the jars to burst.  It would be a shame to lose them now after all the work you’ve done.  Always be cautious when working with hot jars.

Resist the urge to press the tops of the jars if you don’t hear them ping right away.  After the 24 hours, you can press the center of the lid to see if it has stayed down.  If it has, you can safely store the Apple Butter for up to a year or longer in a cabinet or pantry.  If the jar doesn’t seal, place the product in you refrigerator and use it first.  It will still be safe to eat.  Congratulations… you’ve done good!


Apple Butter, serve and enjoy.
Apple Butter is delicious spread on toast, biscuits, English Muffins, pound cake, all kinds of things.  It can also be used in many recipes as well.  The taste is awesome and I think you’ll like this recipe if you’ll give it a try.  That lemon I was worried about cooked right out and left me with a delicious tasting Apple Butter.  I can’t wait to make some more.

Keep any opened jar in the refrigerator until it’s all consumed.  That may not take very long… its just that good.

Please consult your area Agriculture Extension Office for more information on canning.  I also highly recommend you take some classes in canning if they offer them.  They’re usually very economical and only last a couple of hours at the most.  The Ball Blue Book guide to preserving has some excellent recipes and instructions to help you along in your journey to canning, preserving and freezing.  You’ll be very happy you took the time to learn.



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Apple Butter Recipe

Apple Butter Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 5 - 1/2 pint jars 1x
  • Category: Canning
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Follow these step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions for our delicious Apple Butter Recipe. This is just another in our Canning 101 series of recipes for preserving our heritage, one jar at a time. Apple Butter is really easy to make despite the fact that it takes a little bit of time to slow cook it to perfection. Your family will love it and, it makes a great gift item for those special folks on your gift giving list.



  • 5 lbs. Apples
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 ½ cups White Granulated Sugar, adjust as needed according to instructions.
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Lemon, zest plus juice.
  • 1 pinch of Salt


  1. Wash the Apples in cool water.
  2. Slice apples into quarters or smaller pieces if using very large apples.
  3. Add 3 cups of Water to a large sauce pot, place on Medium-High Heat, bring to a rolling boil.
  4. Add Apple Cider Vinegar.
  5. Add the sliced apples.
  6. Cover pot, reduce heat and let apples simmer for about 30 minutes or until soft.
  7. Firmer apples will need more cooking time. Stir apples as needed as they cook down.
  8. Use a spoon to remove apples from liquid, place apples in a food mill or sieve.
  9. Force the pulp through sieve and place in separate bowl below.
  10. Measure the amount of puree you now have as you place it back into the sauce pot.
  11. Add ½ cup Sugar to each cup of apple puree, adjusting amount as needed… starting with ½ cup as Brown Sugar and the remainder as White Sugar. You’ll need 1/2 cup Sugar for each cup of puree.
  12. Stir sugar until it dissolves.
  13. Add Cinnamon
  14. Add Ground Cloves
  15. Add Ground Allspice
  16. Add Lemon, zest and juice only.
  17. Add Vanilla Extract
  18. Add pinch of Salt
  19. Stir well to incorporate all flavors.
  20. Place sauce pot over very low heat and let simmer for about 6 hours, stirring as needed to keep from burning. Mixture will thicken over time and splatter if not watched carefully.
  21. As it thickens, place a spoonful on a saucer that has been kept in the freezer.
  22. Swipe your finger through the butter to see if it will leave a trail or if it runs back together.
  23. When done, ladle into hot jars leaving ¼ inch headspace.
  24. Remove air bubbles, clean rim, apply lid, apply band, tighten finger tight.
  25. Process 10 minutes using the water bath method.

Double check processing time based on Altitude of your location.


If puree gets too thick while cooking, add a little water or apple juice to thin as needed. Apple Butter may also be placed in containers and frozen if you’d rather not use the canning method of preserving. Consult your local Agriculture Extension Office for more detailed information on the canning and preserving process.

Keywords: Apple Butter Recipe, made from scratch, home food preservation, old fashioned, southern recipes


Your Comments:  Do you absolutely just love Apple Butter?  Have you ever made your own from scratch?  I hope you’ll give our recipe a try and, maybe even can up some jars for later.  Either way, I’d love to know how you like it and if the recipe turns out OK for you.  It will only take a couple of minutes to share your comments with us in the section below.  Your Apple Butter memories, thoughts and comments may help other readers in trying our recipe.  Please note that all Comments are moderated.  That means that I personally read each and every one of them before they are approved for our family friendly site.  I also try to respond to as many of your comments as possible so, be sure to check back in a day or two for those.

Subscribe:  If you like our Taste of Southern website, please subscribe to our Newsletter.  We’ll send you a short note every time we add a new recipe or let you know of any other updates that might come along.  We will not share your information so please feel free to join.  You can enter your Email address in the box below or at the top right hand side of any of our pages.  Also, please help us spread the word by sharing our information with your family and friends.  I’d greatly appreciate that.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Be Blessed!!!


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Category: Canning-Freezing

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (93)

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  1. Cheryl says:

    Your apple butter recipe was easy and delicious. I got my apples soft in the crock pot. Took about 4 hours. Thanks!

  2. Dana says:

    What is the advantage of using vinegar?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Dana, The vinegar adds acid to the recipe and it gives the finished product a bit of a tart or tangy taste instead of just an applesauce type of taste. I hope this helps. I appreciate the question and do hope you’ll try our recipe. I’ve won several ribbons with this very recipe at our local fairs if that is any encouragement for you. Smile. Thank you for your visit today, I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. E C Nielsen says:

    Question: For the 6 hours the apple butter is simmered, is it covered or uncovered?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi E C, Thank you for the question. Please go back to the point in the photos where it says “Let’s begin cooking our Apple Butter.” It will explain the process and the reason behind using the lid. I did part of the time, and didn’t part of the time. I think you might have just overlooked that part. It’s easy to do, so I’m glad you asked. Please let me know if you try our recipe. I hope you’ll like it. Thank you for your visit today, and I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Mrs. Anderson says:

    Thank you Steve, for this wonderful recipe! This is the third season I’ve made your Apple butter recipe. I give them for Christmas presents, and everyone just loves it! Kudos to you, thank you, and God bless YOU, and yours!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mrs. Anderson, I hope your friends truly appreciate the special gifts you’re giving them for Christmas. Homemade gifts are the best, don’t you think? I’m happy to hear you’ve been making our Apple Butter Recipe. Keep up the great work. It does make a great gift. Thank you for taking the time to write, I appreciate your support and your visits and do trust that you will visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Marissa says:

    You suggest in your comments to use one teaspoon of lemon zest. Therefore would you then use two teaspoons of lemon juice? Thank you

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Marissa, YES, you use both the zest and the lemon juice. I do hope you’ll try the recipe and I look forward to hearing your comments on how it turns out for you. Thank you for stopping by and please visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Valli says:

      I make apple butter and add nothing. Apples are sweet by themselves.

      Just cook cook cook the apples, combine different varieties and it gets even better. I cut, peel, core and slice the apple and just cook them in a big pot. Add water if they cook down to quick. Or keep a lid on the pot. until you want them to cook down to can and use less jars.

  6. Maureen says:

    It seems as if the amounts for cloves is high. Also, why cider vinegar? I see this in a couple of recipes for canning apple sauce.1st recipe I saw with vanilla; sound good. Thank you.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Maureen, You could reduce the amount of Cloves if desired. As for the apple cider vinegar, it helps add acid to the butter and can help prolong shelf life of the finished product. It also improves the taste as compared to not adding it which to me, would be more of a plain applesauce taste. I hope this helps, and I hope you’ll try and enjoy the recipe. Thank you for your visit, and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Alicia says:

    I may be reading the recipe wrong, but I’m thinking the ingredients and the instructions are different where the spices are concerned. I compared another recipe and went from there.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Alicia, I think you may be referring to the photos where I was using “whole” allspice and “whole” cloves in the spice packet as opposed to adding “ground” cloves and allspice. I mentioned in the photo section that I only had whole spice versions of both of these and that’s why I wrapped them in the cheesecloth. The printed recipe calls for ground versions. I hope that’s it. Was there something else that I may have missed? Thank you for your comment and I hope your Apple Butter turned out good for you. I appreciate your visits and hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Hannah says:

        The nutmeg is missing from the printable recipe card at the bottom.

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Hannah, Thank you for pointing that out. I’ve corrected it now. I do appreciate your visits and thank you for trying our recipe for Apple Butter. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. Jennifer Yilmaz says:

    Looking forward to trying this recipe. It is the first one I found that you don’t peel your apples first which is what I was looking for 🙂 One question, can you put this in the slow cooker overnight to thicken instead of on the stove for 6hrs?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jennifer, I’ve never made this in a slow cooker, so I can’t speak for how it might turn out if you decide to cook it that way. I’m sorry I can’t give you a better answer, but do hope you might try our recipe. I appreciate the question, and your visit. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Hannah says:

        I made this last year in the crockpot and it took 3x as long to thicken as when I made it on the stove. I’m currently on my fourth batch and am so thankful I found this recipe. It was my first attempt at canning and was super easy! Thank you so much for this recipe and the detailed photographs! I actually let it cook on low overnight on the stove and then the next morning it’s ready for canning.

  9. Karen says:

    Hi! Thanks for this recipe. I used organic Royal Gala and Fuji apples. After I cooked the apples and put them through the sieve, I added 2 cups of apple cider to the slow cooking process. I reduced the cooking time to 4.75 hours. When its done its done! My yield was within 3/10 of a cup of your stated yield. The apple butter has a very pleasing flavor. I will be making another batch this week.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Karen, I hope you’re not going to hold it against me that you came up 3/10ths of a cup short. Smile. I’m glad you tried the recipe and appreciate you taking the time to come back and leave us a comment. Perhaps it will encourage others to try the recipe as well. Keep up the great work with your canning adventures. Do stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  10. Debbie Banks says:

    Love the recipe and how encouraging you are.

  11. Linda says:

    Can this be pressure canned?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Linda, I certainly don’t see why it couldn’t be, but I don’t have any information in regards to at what pressure and for how long. You might want to try checking with the Extension office in your county or your state to see if they have any information that could help you. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance. Thank you for the question though, and best of luck with your canning adventures. I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  12. Aj says:

    Hi,I just have to let you know this is the best apple butter ever! I enjoyed making it and it seemed to be done sooner then i expected. And thank you for the tip about the apple cores and peels in cheesecloth.I didnt have a sieve and at first thought this to be a game stopper. I didnt want to miss out on the natural pectin for sure.It worked great!Also the biggest pan that I had didnt have a lid,but I used a splatter screen from the local dollar store and it worked great. This is a recipe I will hand down to my children. Thank you so much for shareing,God bless…. J

  13. Valorie Matthews says:

    Hey Steve I found your site after I had cooked all my apples down and ran them through a food mill. I cooked them in water and I did not have the apple cider vinegar so I am cooking them down in a crock pot with all of the ingredients that you have for apple butter here I am wondering if it will make a difference without the apple cider vinegar is there a possibility I could add it to the pulp? Well I am cooking it in the crock pot so it will be on for about 12 hours so I will let you know how it turns out next time I will start off with cooking the apples in the apple cider vinegar. This really sounds like it’s going to be good thanks for the recipe and congratulations on your blue ribbon, have you had any since then?

  14. Judy says:

    Been trying to find a good apple butter recipe and there was soo many and my pick took me to here. I was very questionable at first because of the vinegar and lemon, but I went with it. Especially my husband is from the south he loves his apple butter. He question me about vinegar also and still did till he tried it and loves this recipe… thank you very much. But question is what happened if I forgot to get the air bubbles out of the apple butter? And after packing it how long can they last for without being opened? Very much appreciated!!!!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Judy, I’m happy to hear you tried our Apple Butter Recipe, and that your husband liked it. Always good news. As for the bubbles, some small bubbles are acceptable and often happen when canning. If you have really large bubbles, I’d refrigerate those jars and use them first. If your jars are properly sealed, you should be able to store the jars in a dark, cool place for a year or even longer. I’ve kept some for two years and it was still good. You’d probably notice a problem when you opened a bad jar anyway. Thank you for the questions, and thank you for trying one of our recipes. I do appreciate your visits to Taste of Southern and trust you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  15. Sharon Heselius says:

    I don’t usually bother to leave a comment but this was sooo enjoyable especially the time and care taken in laying out the recipe, it felt like a friend taking time and care to make sure things were done well and that steps were ensured. I was a little surprised at the end to find out that you were a man but I know lots of men that do better at domestic jobs than a lot of woman. You seem like a very secure person in your well roundedness.
    I just got back from my home state of Alaska were we made home made liverwurst with moose meat, heart, and liver, fat. It was a fun project and taste out of this world good, like no other! Can hardly wait to go back up and make some more, want to smoke it next time as well. Brought back to Florida almost a case of canned salmon from a friend and some frozen filets also. The thing I miss about being in Florida is that people don’t seem to be that into canning and basic home stuff like in Alaska, so decided that I’ll just have to be a lone duck and enjoy it myself without the joy of sharing the projects with others at this point, will gift some of my apple butter and will do something else with apples as they are on sell right now. Thank you Steve, it was fun, still working on it as I have to go find and buy some jars etc. before finishing process. Blessings!

    • Jody says:

      I would love a recipe for the liverwurst. I am also in Florida but I like to can, cook, garden, raise chickens, and make my own soap.

  16. Hi Steve,

    This is my 3rd year following your Apple Butter recipe and I have been giving it out as Christmas Gifts every year since. We love it and so do all our friends who we give it out to.
    I do have a concern that I face every year and that is, I find your measurements a little difficult to figure out because your seasoning measurements are based on 9 cups, I wish there were a conversion chart to adjust at different cup amounts.
    Now I have a question, I would like to make one batch sugar free, I would still use the 1/2 cup brown sugar but would I use Splenda at the same measurements of the white sugar?

    Thank you,

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Linda, Thank you for trying our Apple Butter Recipe. I’m happy to hear that you’ve been using it for several years now. I visited the Splenda website and it appears you can substitute the Splenda for regular granulated sugar cup for cup. I’ve never used Splenda in any of my recipes, so I can’t personally speak for how it might turn out. Let us know if you try it and how it works for you. Thank you for the question and for your visits to Taste of Southern. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  17. Donna says:

    Thanks for the fabulous recipe. I was given four large grocery bags of red apples yesterday, and spent the evening coring and cooking! The spice combination with the enlightened addition of vanilla makes this apple butter the best I’ve ever tasted. It’s exquisite – thick, amber brown, and delicious! I’ll be saving this recipe for sure. Thanks again, Steve!

  18. Cindy says:

    Wow I have not had apple butter since I was 10 years old! Although time consuming, it sure was worth it and so easy! It tastes delicious! Time for the next generation to experience apple butter 🙂 Thank you!!

  19. Mollie says:

    This recipe is a huge hit with my family and coworkers! It makes the house smell amazing, too, but is very easy to do. Thank you for sharing! I substituted the apples for pears when we had an abundance of those and lowered the amount of sugar and it turned out quite well.

  20. Claudia B says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever made Apple butter. It came out perfect… well other than there are a few bubbles in the jar and I did run a stick through it to get all the air out. Is this normal? Thank you for the detailed instructions. I will be making this again… definitely a keeper…I can see why you won the Blue Ribbon… Merry Christmas and God Bless

  21. Amber says:

    I’ll be making this recipe tomorrow morning.
    It’s my first time making apple butter and I’m really excited! I found your recipe by searching for “best homemade apple butter recipe” and from what I can tell it will be amazing! Thank you for all the tips and I look forward to reading more of your recipes.

  22. Anne Good says:

    I have canned apple butter several times. I made a triple batch last week with my daughter, using this recipe with a few minor changes. This is a fantastic recipe. My husband, who grew up eating home canned apple butter, said it is the best he’s had.

    The changes? I peeled, cored, and sliced the apples first, using a hand crank apple peeler/corer/slicer. It’s a lot easier and less messy than using a food mill. Plus, you don’t have to worry about waxes or chemicals found on most apples. The apples will cook down into a smooth butter-like consistency, but if you want extra smoothness just use an immersion blender halfway through the process (mainly so any air bubbles created will have time to dissipate). Warning: whatever way you choose to prepare the apples be prepared for a sticky floor. A small tarp placed beneath your work station can save a lot of mopping. I used the cider vinegar but, instead of using water, I used apple cider. It is my experience that whenever possible you should use a flavorful liquid in place off water. You get bigger, bolder flavor.

    This is not that much work at all, but it is an all day process. The bulk of the time is the cooking down of the apples. We made it fun by making an apple pie and a fabulous dinner while the apples cooked. We invited some friends over later in the day and had a great time of it.

    This yielded 24 jam jars plus two pint jars. I purchased 1/2 bushel of JonaGolds. I used four of the large apples to make a pie.

    Yep, this recipe is a keeper. Thanks for sharing, Steve.

  23. JC says:

    Just wanted to ask have you ever used wax to top your jams and jellies with? That’s all I ever used over these last 50 years. Curious.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi JC, I’ve never used the wax myself. I know it was very popular years ago, but you don’t hear of it as much these days. I do have a box of “Gulf Wax” on display on top of the spice rack on my wall. I found an older box years back and just use it as a display piece. I’m glad to hear you’ve had such good results with it over the years. Thank you for the question, keep up the great work. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  24. Jim Kessel says:


    Just tasted the end result of my first batch of apple butter, using your recipe and directions, and it was amazing. So much better than store bought. I don’t think Ill ever buy apple butter again. This one batch may last me an entire year.
    During the cooking process I feared the spices would be over powering but as the butter cooked down they melded very nicely together. This will be my go to recipe. Thank you for making my first batch a successful one.

    • Jim Kessel says:

      Down to my last half pint already. Looks like its not going to last me a year like I thought. I will be making another batch next weekend. I think I’ll make a double batch and give some out to the family for Christmas.
      Thanks again

  25. Kimberly says:

    Good tutorial. Thank you!

  26. shari says:

    please add me to your list and surely want to try the applebutter this year! my husband loves it, so good luck to me for him! I hope I get emails, being a NC girl, Charlotte native

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Shari, You’ll need to sign up for our Newsletters using the box in the top right hand corner of each page here on Taste of Southern. It’s pretty simple and will only take a minute or two of your time. It will automatically send you an email to ask that your confirm your subscription. After that, you’ll be good to go. Thanks in advance. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  27. Abby says:

    Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe and instructions. We picked less than perfect apples from an old abandoned tree on a vacant lot behind our house. I have no idea what kind of apples they are, but it worked! I also used coconut sugar instead of white sugar (and only about half as much) and it turned out great!! Thanks again.

  28. Erin says:

    Hello Steve, I was given about 12lbs of apples & thought apple butter would be great & then I found your site. I made your recipe & it is a big hit in our home. Thank you so much for sharing. I have frozen & canned some apple butter. I did omit the lemon juice only because the apples were so tart but next time will add the lemon juice. Congrats on your blue ribbons!

  29. Linda Malnati says:

    Hi Steve, well I made my Apple Butter and it turned out Beautifully. This was a job for my first time, But I loved it. I don’t know why I haven’t done this before now. Probably working had a lot to do with it . Anyway I am looking Forward to more of your Delicious Recipes. Thank You For all you do for us. 🙂

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Linda, Congratulations on your first batch of Apple Butter and welcome to the wonderful world of home food preservation. I do hope you’ll continue with this new adventure and that you’ll enjoy many more hours of fun with your canning projects. Getting started is always the hard part, but you’ve already conquered that. Keep up the great work.

      I’m happy to hear the Apple Butter turned out well for you. I appreciate your comments and trust that you’ll try some of our other recipes. Most importantly, be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  30. Linda Malnati says:

    HI ! Well I am so excited to be here I can’t wait till Morning to make my Apple Butter. This is my First time Canning. I wanted to make Apple Butter and I saw this site, and thought how Beautiful your Apple Butter Looks. So this is a go to Recipe All the time. Excited to see more of your Recipes.

  31. Cammie says:

    I’m going to give this a try. I don’t have a good mill or sieve so I plan to peel and core my apples. Using this method, do I measure what I’ve got after 30 minutes in order to determine how much sugar to add? Should I mash it first?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Cammie, I would cook the apples, mash them, then measure them. Add sugar accordingly. I hope you’ll try the recipe and that you like it. Please let us know how it turns out for you. Thank you for the question and please stop by for another visit… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  32. Lisa says:

    I love your blog! I feel a long way from home sometimes, and your recipes take me back to my Grandma’s big old foursquare house in Halifax County, NC. It has inspired me to attempt some of her wonderful dishes that I miss so much. I’ve made the chicken pastry (it was fantastic!), and my next attempt is apple butter. I’m even going to try to can it. I’m so excited, I don’t know what to do with myself! Thanks, Steve!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lisa, Thank you for sharing your memories, and for your compliments on Taste of Southern. I greatly appreciate it. I do hope you have great success with canning the Apple Butter. Please drop back by and let me know how it turns out for you. I appreciate your visits and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  33. Karin says:

    Hi Steve – I tried this recipe and I love the all the spice flavors. However, there is a strong “bite” in the back of my throat when I tried some of it. I’m still cooking it down. Do you think that bite will go away as it cooks? My guess is that its from the vinegar.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Karin, I mentioned in my writing about the recipe, that using the lemon zest and juice gave the butter a bit of a tart taste that I wasn’t sure about myself. Don’t know if you saw that or not. As it turned out, it did calm down some after the Apple Butter had a few days in the refrigerator and I liked it. Should you make it again, you might leave off the lemon zest and reduce some of the lemon juice. Hopefully, after it has some time to rest, you’ll really enjoy the flavors of it all.

      I recently won another First Place Ribbon with this recipe at the 2014 North Carolina State Fair. I guess that meant they liked it. Smile.

      Thank you for trying our Apple Butter Recipe, and I do hope it turns out well for you. I appreciate your question and hope that you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Debbie says:

      I experienced the same problem, my butter was too tart! I slowly added baking powder and low and behold, it did the trick! My apple butter turned out great with a clean apple taste.

  34. Andrea Goldstrom says:

    Do I have to use lemon in my apple butter recipe?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Andrea, Unless you have some type of allergy against lemons, I’d leave it in the recipe. You could cut back a bit, but the lemon will help boost the flavors of everything else. It’s not something you’re going to taste in the finished butter. I do hope this helps. Thank you for the question, and be sure to stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  35. LisaC73 says:

    Made this today, it’s delicious. I’m one of “those” cooks who adds a personal touch to everything, so here are my minor changes: used cider instead of water; a little less cloves, a little more cinnamon. NOTE, the printable recipe calls for nutmeg, but doesn’t specify when to add it. I assume it goes in with the other spices? And a quick question – can the type of apple make a difference in the amount of finished product? I ended up with more like 8 half pint jars. I used granny smith – my favorite apples and I use them for everything.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi LisaC73, Thank you for trying our Apple Butter Recipe. I’m happy to say that it picked up yet another Blue Ribbon with our recently held (2014) North Carolina State Fair. As for your question, I think an apple like a Granny Smith would produce less liquid when cooking, so that might make a difference as compared to the one I used. I would think the softer the apple, the more juice. Still, I’m glad you liked the Apple Butter, and I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying some canning. Keep up the great work. I appreciate your visits and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  36. Bo says:

    Hey, Steve. Found your site via internet search for this type of recipe, and looking forward to exploring the other recipes provided here. All the reviews are spot on but I added just one additional ingredient, that being a 1/4 cup of heavy cream in the sauce/gravy mixture.

    Seemed to bind really well, and added an extra element of depth and creamy flavor.

  37. Nicole says:

    I just found your recipe today. I was lucky to receive 22 lbs of apples and pears, so I am definitely going to have to try this recipe. I’ve made Apple butter before, but I didn’t care too much for the taste. I wonder if the addition of the Apple cider vinegar would add that extra flavor I’m looking for. I will let you know how it turns out! Thank you!

  38. Karen Young says:

    I am getting ready to make your Canned Apple Butter recipe. Your ingredients call for lemon zest. But it does not show HOW MUCH lemon zest. Is there a certain amount I need to use in order for it to turn out?

    I also have already peeled my apples. I am using the peelings in order to make apple jelly. So will this effect the recipe and if so how much?

    Karen Young

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Karen, I’m sure you’ve made the Apple Butter by now. I hope it turns out well for you. I used most of the zest from one small lemon, that would be about one teaspoon or a little more. As mentioned in the step-by-step, it had a bit of a tang to it when finished, but it seemed to have mellowed out later. So, don’t use a lot.

      I hope you’ll stop back by and let us know how it turned out without the peelings. I’m sure it will still be fine. Thank you for your questions, and for trying our Apple Butter Recipe, be sure to visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  39. Laura Hufstetler says:

    After I cook the apples and put it thru the sieve to remove peelings and seeds, could I put this in the crock pot with the puree and the rest of the ingredients and cook it. How long would I need to cook it for.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Laura, I’m afraid I don’t have an exact answer for your question. Yes, it can be cooked in a crock pot, but I just can’t say how long that will take. If you cover the pot, it creates moisture, which will have to be cooked out in order to get the butter cooked down to where it needs to be. As long as you can keep an eye on it, you’ll be good to proceed. Wish I could be more precise for you.

      Thank you for the question. Let me know if you try the recipe. I appreciate your visit and trust you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Audrey says:

        I’m trying your recipe tonight. I didn’t add the Apple cider vinegar but think I’ll add some. I was afraid it would make the Apple butter sour but am also concerned whether it will have enough acid for storing.

        I combined your recipe with the process of another site, cooking the pulp in a slow cooker. The suggestion there was to place 2 knives between the crock and the lid to allow liquid to evaporate and keep bubbles from splattering. The site said to cook on low temp for 12-18 hours so it will be cooking overnight and most the day tomorrow before I can the jars using a hot bath.

        This is not my first time canning but is my first time making apple butter. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

  40. Lindsey says:

    Last year, I made apple butter for the first time in my life, and I used this recipe (with it’s easy tutorial – thank you Steve). It turned out great! In fact, my husband insisted that he liked this apple butter so much (even more than my wonderful strawberry jam, I must point out) that we decided we had to make it again this year. We just finished filling 14 small jelly jars. My kitchen smells delicious, and I feel prepared for the cold winter months ahead. Thank you, Steve.

  41. Michael Bober says:

    Hi Steve, I recently came across your website while looking for an apple butter recipe, and I must say for my first attempt it came out really well. You have a great recipe and your directions are easy to follow. One question I have is concerning the measurements of the ingredients after the apples are cooked down – what would each be per cup of cooked apples? I have a granny smith tree in the yard and the apples are not always uniform size. Nor do I end up using the entire apple in some instances. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to trying some of your other recipes.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Michael, I’m afraid I don’t have exact measurement as you’re asking for. If you’re concerned about cutting away bad spots, unless you’re cutting away half an apple or more, you should be fine. Or, weigh out the apples once you’ve cut them, just before you start to cook them. Either way, you should be good. I do hope this helps.

      Thank you for the question. I’m thankful you’ve found Taste of Southern, and I wish you great success with your canning adventures. Keep up the great work. I appreciate your visit, and do hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  42. Lisa says:

    Hi Steve, I just finished canning my first batch of apple butter and have another on the stove cooking. I’ve never tried it before but this recipe made it seem possible. I always thought I would have to peel and core a LOT of apples but this was a snap. I know the directions seem involved but reallly, this was about the easiest thing I’ve ever canned. I borrowed a food sieve from a friend (it was her grandma’s) and it worked beautifully. A strainer and wooden spoon could work too. I used half macintosh and half gala and I have to say, I was a little concerned about adding lemon but wow, I’m so glad I did. It really made a difference. I also didn’t have any apple cider vinegar on hand so used apple cider. It was fine. Thanks for posting this recipe.

    I have about 14 pounds of pears laying on the table waiting for me. Any recipes for those? I’m thinking maybe pear butter and pear honey.



    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lisa, Sounds like you’ve been busy with the Apple Butter. I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern, and I’m happy that you’ve tried the recipe. Keep up the great work. And, it’s my pleasure to post the recipes.

      I haven’t had the chance to do anything with pears yet. The pear butter and pear honey sound like great ideas. I want to do a Cinnamon Pear Preserve if I can find some local pears. I had a friend that gave me some a couple of years back, but haven’t seen them lately. I need a new source.

      I appreciate your visits, and do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  43. Sandy Vierling says:

    How long do you cook it in the crockpot?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sandy, I’ve never cooked this in an crock pot, so I don’t have an exact answer to your question. If you’re talking about cooking down the apples, they need to cook until they are good and tender. After you’ve basically made the applesauce, you will need to cook that down until it gets thick and cooks out most of the water. The lid of the crock pot will generate steam, causing more water, so you’ll have to account for that. It took me about 6 hours to cook it down on the stove top, probably a little longer if you use a crock pot I would think. I was cooking it on a pretty low heat to begin with.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you try the recipe in a crock pot. I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. Thank you for the question. I do appreciate it, and I trust you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      PS: I just won a Blue Ribbon with this Apple Butter Recipe at our 2014 Regional Fair.

  44. Kelley says:

    How much vinegar?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kelley, The printable recipe at the bottom of the post lists all of the amounts you’ll need. This recipe calls for 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar.

      I hope this helps. I appreciate the question, and hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  45. Marg Pietens says:

    I have never made your apple butter recipe, but i will try it this year, and just a little suggestion….I make mine in a crock pot, this allows slow cooking during the night as i sleep!

  46. Blairsie says:

    I made this last year and used 3 different types of apples. I decided not to cook down all of it and made applesauce. This is the best recipe I have ever used for making apple butter! Will be making more this fall.

  47. Jhase Glenn says:

    Oh my gosh I never jumped around the kitchen like I did when I was cooking this recipe and my finger was splashed by the thick bubbles. You werent kidding when you said they hurt. Ive never made apple butter before. Its truely been an experience. This recipe is a keeper!! Love it. Thank you for sharing this deliciousness. 🙂

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jhase, I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern, and that you tried our Apple Butter Recipe. I’m just sorry it splashed on you, but yes, it does get hot. I trust you are OK. Thank you for sharing your comments, and I do hope you’ll keep up the good work. We’ll be waiting for you to visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  48. Beckie Foster says:

    This is the best presentation I’ve seen. I love the extreme detail and chronological picture sequence. Perfect. Many times making recipes you wonder what it’s supposed to look like, or , how do you “do” that? I’ve made apple butter for 3 or 4 years now but each year have to look up a recipe. This will be book marked. Thank you so much for thorough teaching.

  49. Doris Mills says:

    I tried your recipe for this apple butter. It turned out perfect. It also tastes awesome. I like the spices and how they stand out in this compared to the store bought brands that are so bland and don’t even taste like apples anyway. Thanks for the recipe. – Doris

  50. Allison says:

    I prefer not to use sugar when I cook. Any suggestions for sweetening the applebutter with honey? Maybe molasses instead of brown sugar?
    Thank you.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Allison, Thank you for your question. I’m just sorry I can’t answer it with regards to adding honey or molasses instead of the sugar. I’ve never used either and don’t know what the results might be. Perhaps you’ll give it a try and come back and share your results with us. It would be interesting to know.

      I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Randy says:

      I use concord grape juice ( about 2 cups)in my apple butter it does have to cook longer.

  51. Megan Gutschmidt says:

    This was my first time making apple butter and it turned out great despite the fact I messed up in a few spots! I have a horrible habit of skimming through instructions and leaving out key parts, so I accidentally kept the lid on the apple mixture while it was supposed to be cooking down for 6 hours. I had to remove the lid and cook it for longer to thicken it up. I loved the way the house smelled while it was cooking on the stove, and despite the mistakes it turned out really great. Even though it is a long process, it is a very simple recipe (especially because you don’t have to peel and core any apples). Great for days when you are cleaning around the house all day. Great recipe all around. I have already started my second batch! Thank you!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Megan, I’m thankful you found the Apple Butter Recipe and decided to give it a try. We ALL learn through our mistakes, or at least we should, but you didn’t make anything you couldn’t recover from, and that is good. And yes, the house DOES smell good the whole time doesn’t it? Really glad to hear that you’re already cooking up another batch.

      I just bought apples yesterday and haven’t decided yet what to do with them. All Granny Smith’s, so I think I’ll have to make a pie or two. Any suggestions?

      Thank you for taking the time to share your comments and results. Perhaps it will encourage someone else to give it a try. I do hope you will try some of our other recipes and that you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  52. cathy mashburn says:

    Wow !! Steve, that’s a lot of work but it looks so good !! Love your recipes !

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Cathy, It really did turn out very good in my opinion. It’s not as much work as it might appear though. As mentioned, it could be frozen instead of canned and will keep a long time that way. Thank you for your comment, I’m glad you like the recipes. I hope you’re doing well and trust you will stop by for a visit again real soon. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

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