Traditional Apple Butter Spread Recipe

Traditional apple butter recipe

The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

  • Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 1 pint (32 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
10 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 pint (32 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 10
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Protein 0g
Calcium 2mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Apple Butter is common throughout Eastern Europe. With only three ingredients in the recipe -- apples, water, and sugar -- it was an easy project for an overabundance of fruit.
Today, we have microwaves and slow cookers that take the drudgery out of keeping a watchful eye on the pot. This recipe easily can be increased. It's low in sugar, as all fruit butters are, and makes a great topping for breads, rolls, ice cream and cakes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound apples (washed, quartered, and cored)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for apple butter
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine apples and water.

    Combine apples and water
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until apples look like applesauce, stirring occasionally.

    Apples in pot
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  4. Pass the puree through a sieve or food mill.

    Pass through sieve
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  5. Mix the strained puree with the sugar and spices and choose one of the following cooking methods.

    Mix strained puree
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Slow Cooker Method

  1. Place sweetened pulp in a slow cooker with the lid partially off to let steam escape.

    Ingredients in slow cooker
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. Set at low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 12 hours or overnight, until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.

    Set
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Microwave Method

  1. Place sweetened pulp in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 20 minutes at a time. 

    Put in bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel 
  2. Stir frequently until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.

    Stir
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Stovetop Method

  1. Place sweetened pulp in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat.

    Ingredients on stovetop
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. Stir frequently, for 1 to 2 hours or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.

    Blend
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel 

Oven Method

  1. Heat oven to 250 F.

  2. Place sweetened pulp in a heatproof casserole dish or roaster.

    Place pulp in bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  3. Bake, stirring only occasionally, for 1 to 3 hours or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.

    Puree in bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Can the Apple Butter

  1. Place hot butter in hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.

    Apple butter in jar
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. Cover with hot sterilized lids and rings.

    Close jar
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  3. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

    Process in water bath
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  4. Remove to counter and allow to cool before storing in a cool, dry, dark place.

    Serve
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Tips

  • If you don't process in a water bath, the butter can be kept refrigerated for up to three weeks or frozen for up to one year.