Apple butter

Apple butter is smooth and spreadable, making it a perfect butter-less companion to cheese.
Ingredients for 1 serving
  • 4 1/2 pounds apples
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1 cup cane sugar, muscovado sugar, or brown sugar per 2 1/2 cups of applesauce
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
Apple butter


The consistency is more compact than jam and the apples become caramelized as much of their water is boiled away. The relatively low water content also helps extend the shelf life of apple butter, allowing it to stay fresh longer than jam.

No need to hold back on the spices when making apple butter. All of the warm autumn spices can be used – cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, cloves, fennel seed, allspice and star anise. Add one or two, or just keep it au natural. Note that the more spices you add, the more you limit how the apple butter can be used.

You can substitute brown sugar or muscovado for the spices if you like. Both are quite strong in flavor and take the place of spices nicely.

  1. Slice the apples into quarters and put them in a pot along with water. Boil for about 35 minutes until they are very tender. The boiling time will vary depending on the type of apples used and how ripe they are. Run the apples through a fine-meshed sieve to remove the peel and core.
  2. Put the applesauce back into the pot. Add spices and the appropriate amount of sugar for the volume of sauce.
  3. Bring the applesauce back to boiling point, then turn down the heat and simmer gently. Do not cover while cooking so the liquid can steam off. Let it simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it has turned caramel brown and grown quite thick.
  4. Pour into sterilized jars.