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Killer apple butter recipes?


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For some reason everyone is giving me their excess! First it was the pomegranates, then ginger, then...well you get the idea. I now have a huge box of apples and I was thinking I would make apple butter. But, I've never made it before. Does anyone have a recipe that is a must-do? Once I make it, I'll sneak on over to THIS TOPIC from earlier this year on what to do with it all. Thanks.

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I don't have a "must do" recipe. I just take apples, apple juice, sugar (I've used white, brown and maple sugars in various renditions) and spices, slowly cook 'til brown and velvety and call it good enough. Apple butter on hot biscuits with brown butter (or just plain butter for that matter)... where's the *drool* smilie? :biggrin:

Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Oh good, I'm glad someone brought this up! I've been dying to make apple butter but just haven't had time or found a good recipe. I'd like to make a slow-cooker version, so I can infuse my home with the lovely spicy-apple fragrance at the same time. Does it matter what kind of apples I use? I Googled "apple butter recipes" and found that some call for apple juice and others don't - does it make a difference? I'm thinking apple butter with bourbon might be good - anyone tried it?

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For those who are in a mood to experiment, Williams Sonoma is selling jarred Pecan Pumpkin Butter. It's lovely stuff, and worthy of imitation and variation. I could see apple butter with nuts; apple and pumpkin butter. . .oh, the possibilities!

Apple+caramelized onion butter?

Apple sage butter?

Apple cranberry butter?

Apple peanut butter?

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Nobody does apple butter better than the Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch

Here is a recipe I have used for years, with great results.


6 quarts cider

10 lbs. apples

2 lbs. granulated sugar (See tip below)

2 pounds brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground allspice

2 tablespoons ground cloves

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon.

1 tablespoon ground mace

1/2 tablespoon ground white pepper

Wash and quarter apples. DO NOT PEEL OR CORE!

Boil the cider for 20 min. then put apples into kettle with

cider and cook until apples are tender.

Press through a sieve to remove skin and seeds.

Add sugar and spices to pulp. cook until as thick as desired ( a soft paste);

stirring frequently tp prevent burning.

Pour into crock or glass jars. Process in water batch for 15 minutes.

Tip: Because apples vary in sweetness, add only 1/2 the amount of sugar to start,

add the rest as needed to adjust the sweetness.


To part of the butter add ground pecans or walnuts - 1/4 cup per quart of apple butter and cook an additional 30 to 50 minutes. Also mashed chestnuts may be added.

Grind fresh cranberries in a food mill, cook with sugar, (1/2 cup per cup of ground cranberries)

and mix with apple butter (1/2 cup to each pint of apple butter) and cook for 30 minutes.

Other fruits may be mixed with the apple butter. Dried fruits should be stewed and pressed through a sieve - prunes, pears, gooseberries, beach plums and crabapples.

Those are the variations that were in the original recipe. I should add that I have added variations of my own from time to time.

Some ginger :biggrin: after it has been candied, finely chopped and mixed into some of the apple butter - to taste - I really can't recall how much I added - it depends on how spicy the ginger.

I have also added mango pulp - I too am often gifted with lots of fruits - persimmons - that was a brilliant combo.

It's easy enough to try various combinations, this recipe produces a large enough batch that one can experiment.

Also and very important.

You do not have to jar and process this immediately. I often cook it part way then place in a large Cambro container and freeze it until I am ready to finish it. It freezes nicely and if one doesn't want to go to the bother of canning, (and the freezer space is available) it will keep in the freezer for many months.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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We do apple butter every couple years and it is fun as well as tastes great!

We start with a bunch of apples [our Calderon will hold about 4 bushel] water to cover and a slow fire burned with a good base of coals. I would post a picture here but apparently the images must be on the sight before I can post them.

We peel, core and slice the quantity we wish to cook and add with the water to our pot. Then we take turns stirring; about 10 hours to start thickening beyond apple sauce. Then the cinnamon sticks are added, a couple hours later when the butter is thickened the sugar is added while stirring constantly now. At this point the apple butter is for all intents done and so we start decanting and carrying in to be canned.

Our recipe is the simple one of the German 1st generation family my wife is from, to around 8-10 gallons of apple slices, about 7-10 lbs of sugar and like 12 or 15 cinnimon sticks, water as needed -to cover when starting. Please note that the time will vary by the type of apples you use. As we live in Washington State we are mostly stuck with the commercial stuff grown here for export, not the wonderful cooking and eating varieties available back east.

Now the good part. while the canning is being finished; a huge amount of potatoes are being fried along with pork chops or brats or even both as well as biscuits. The potatoes are served with great big spoonfuls of hot fresh apple butter over the top. That is the reward for having smoke in your eyes all day.

Another aside, when we made this in the 70s my wife and I were thinking as the church of what was happening then said in its gospel that sugar was bad. We pulled a gallon out and finished it separately on the stove but with about 1/2 the sugar.

We could not tell the difference then at all or hardly anyway. Six months later the low sugar stuff was funny tasting and at a year there was no doubt it was bad. Seems that sugar is important not so much for taste but as a preservative.

We tend to have friends over in and out thru out the day to help and come supper, they are all there to share!

Edited by RobertCollins (log)



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I just finished a honey saffron cinnamon apple butter batch at the tale end of my apple sauce making.

I burned the crap out of my hands stirring it though (it's like napalm!)! :angry: Tomorrow's next batch will get the crock pot method!

For canning it- I was surprised to see that apple butter requires a shorter processing time than apple sauce (10 min vs 20 min) according to my ball book.

flavor floozy

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Glad you said that about canning. That's my project of the day. I did the fairly traditional recipe above (Amish), but added a 1/4 cup of 6 balsamic. Sounds odd, but the sweetness of 6 year went really well with the apples.

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  • 4 weeks later...

What I did this year -- and I don't measure, per se, or keep track of recipes, so I can only tell you what I actually did --

Fill a 5-quart crockpot with an assortment of peeled, cored apples. Leave it on low overnight. Add more peeled, cored apples to fill the space the overnight cooking made available, and turn it to high for a couple hours until they've broken down too.

Add two bottles of good beer -- I used a bottle of Harpoon's IPA and a bottle of Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale.

Add two small seedless or de-seeded oranges, ground up.

Add several cups of sugar, probably 3.

Continue cooking on high, uncovered, until it's dark and sticky, stirring first to incorporate the beer and later to keep it cooking evenly.

This was made as a change of pace from regular apple butter, since I had a whole bunch of apples to use up and still had some apple butter left from last year.

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