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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