How to Make Apple Butter

I know some of you may be turned off by canning. It seems too difficult, old-fashioned, or you may think you will contaminate your family. Just read this through and see what you think. Apple Butter is super simple, inexpensive, and makes a great homemade gift.

How to Make Apple Butter

1. Start by peeling, coring and slicing 5 1/2 pounds of apples. The best kind of apples for apple butter are Cortland, Jonamac, Spigold, Jonathan, Liberty, Sweet Sixteen, Golden Russet, Orin, Arkansas Black, and Grimes Golden (according to the internet 😉

2. Place all the apples into a large crock pot along with 2-4 cups of sugar (depending on your sweet tooth), 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cloves. I am too lazy to dice my apples really small so I cook it on high until the apples are cooked down (about 5-6 hours). Can you tell what decade I got married in by the style of my crock pot?IMG_0684

3. After my apples are soft and cooked down I take my electric hand mixer and blend the apples and spices together (after about 5 hours on high in the crock pot) I periodically mix them up until it is all blended throughout the evening.

Note: If you would rather cook them down on the stovetop and then transfer them to your crock pot you can do that as well. It will save hours in the crock pot I have done it both ways. IMG_0685

4. Then I turn it down to low and cook them overnight. This takes a LONG TIME to cook down, but it is worth it. Plus you do not have to babysit them you just let them cook down all night.

5. In the morning it will have turned a beautiful brownish red color. I mix it again and then I take the top off the crock pot and let it thicken until it is my desired consistency (usually another 2-4 hours). IMG_0681 6. Meanwhile, I wash 9 pint jars in my dishwasher. When they are still hot I take them out of the dishwasher. Then fill up the jar with the hot apple butter leaving about 1/4” of headspace. Wipe the rim clean. IMG_06827. Put a new lid on it and then put the ring on it. If you are a true canner stop reading here….

Now flip the jars upside down. Let them cool. When they are completely cool flip them right side up and they will have sealed.

IMG_0683 It makes about 9 pint jars. No special tools necessary. Just canning jars, apples, and spices. Easy peasy!

Check out these cute jar toppers to make your apple butter look gift-worthy — although the taste is gift enough.

Scrappy Lids Tutorial

Canning Lid Downloads

Recipes using your Homemade Apple Butter:

Apple Butter Pork Loin

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

Apple Butter Spice Cake

Apple Butter Muffins

Tips and hints:

1. If you live near an apple orchard ask for “seconds” when buying the apples. They are usually half price. You may have to cut off some of the imperfections but they are just as tasty.

2. Before you go out and buy jars ask around. It seems like everyone has a jar or two laying around their house. Craigslist is a great place to get them also. And keep your eye out during yard sale season. You can reuse the canning rings but you cannot reuse the lids. You will have to purchase those. Now is a great time to buy them because they are on clearance everywhere.