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I made this recipe last year. We only have 2 half pint jars left. they went fast, everyone loved this recipe. My husband said it was the best apple butter he has ever had. I cut he sugar amount in half,..I also used melted red hot candies 1/4 cup ,..heat till melted and add to the apple butter this gets rid of any vinegar taste as well as imparts more of a cinnamon flavor without going overboard. add the red hots as your cooking down the apple butter .
This was delicious. So much so that the batch I thought would last longer is all gone now. Today I’m making a triple batch. Love your recipes. Thanks so much!
I used this recipe to make apple butter for my granddaughter. Followed it as written the first time I attempted. The recipe is basically good but i would amend the sugar to read ” sweeten to your own taste”. 4 cups of sugar to 4 pounds of apples, even Granny Smith apples, made my first batch unusable for me.
Yes I did but I thought that the vinegar was a much too strong. Is there any thing I can put in it now so that I can use it to take a lot of the vinegar taste out?
Hi Jean, traditional apple butter is supposed to be sweet and sour, but if it is too sour for you, you can balance the acidity of the vinegar by adding more sugar to taste.
I made this twice. The first batch was delicious. I didn’t follow it exactly since I wasn’t canning it but freezing it. The second batch wasn’t as good. I don’t know what I did wrong. I thought I followed it exactly the second time because I was canning it and I wanted to make sure it came out good to give out as gifts The second batch is edible but not good enough to give out as gifts because the vinegar flavor is coming through. The first batch I didn’t have apple cider vinegar so I used some distilled vinegar but not as much as the recipe calls for figuring I was freezing it. I bought apple cider vinegar for the second batch and measured it exactly. Apples from the same tree used in both batches.
Hi J Gordon, we always have to make adjustments for the specific fruit we are using. Even apple from the same tree can cook up differently. Apple butter is supposed to be sweet and tart. If you are getting too much of the tart, just add a little more sugar until you find the mixture comes into balance for your taste.
First time making apple butter. It’s not something that is common in my country but something I learned to love while I lived in the US. Also my first time canning anything! Easy, delicious and I would highly recommend this.
I’m so glad you liked it Patricia!
Can this be done in a slow cooker? Maybe with the lid ajar to allow evaporation?
Hi, Randy! Yes, I’ve made apple butter (and other fruit butters!) before in the slow cooker. Leave the lid ajar and cook for as long as you like. If you’re around, I’d recommend stirring it occasionally so that it cooks evenly. Enjoy!
I am making the apple butter now. The taste is lovely. Although the butter is slowly condensing, it’s been about 2.5 hours. Still not really thick. Or is it? I would love to see a picture of what the butter should look like when it is “done”. I know you have a description of the finished jam on a chilled plate. Can you post a picture so we can see the general thickness? I have never made a jam / butter before, not a cooked one, so I don’t know how to gage a finished product.
Hi Hannah, the next time I make it I’ll be sure to capture more photos! Finished apple butter is pretty thick. If you put some on a chilled plate and turned the plate so that it was vertical, it would’t run off the plate. It might slide, but it wouldn’t be runny. Hope that helps!
When you say to use the juice and grated rind of a lemon, do you just grated an entire lemon? That’s what I did and the lemon taste is a little overpowering. Is it safe to just add a little lemon juice next time?
It’s not the rind of the lemon, just the zest (i.e. only the yellow part, not the white part which is called the pith and is bitter). Lemon or any kind of acid is used in canning recipes to inhibit the growth of bacteria, so it is necessary to the process. The zest however, is not necessary is only for added flavor, so the amount of this could be lowered or left out.
Hi, Brian! Yes, Dingo is right — you only need the zest of the lemon, which is the outer part of the skin before you hit the white pith underneath. Sorry for the confusion!
Delicious recipe! However, running the jars on a short dishwasher cycle definitely does NOT sterilize them—it only sanitizes them. (HUGE difference!) If your readers can the apple butter in a water bath for 10 minutes then it’s irrelevant. However, if they don’t, botulism is no joke! The best way to sterilize jars is in boiling water for 15 minutes.
Hi Emily, there is so much sugar and acid in this recipe and in most jam and jelly recipes that botulism is NOT an issue. Until recently canning jams and jellies used paraffin wax at the top. The high percentage of sugar and the acid inhibits bacteria from growing. What can happen is mold, which is what sterilizing the jars helps prevent.
Can you use an instant pot to shorten the cooking time?
Hi, Angie! We haven’t tested this in the Instant Pot, so I can’t say for sure. However, getting a thick, deeply caramelized apple butter depends on evaporation, so I don’t think the IP would be ideal. I’ve made batches before in the slow cooker with the lid set ajar and that works well! I suppose you could use the slow cooker function on the IP and just leave the lid unlocked and ajar?
I am so in love with this recipe. To all of you who dont have a sieve to mash the mixture through, I dont either and here’s what I did. I used my peeler that sliced and cored the apples. Tossed the peelings, but put the cores in to cook with the apples to derive the pectin. Before I pureed it with my immersion blender I pulled out the soft cooked cores. So easy! You get the pectin and dont have to mash that mess through a wire mesh! I also used about half the vinegar and water, used 2 cups brown sugar 2 cups white sugar to 4 lbs of Jona-gold apples.
Hey, i dont hv a food mill. Read your comment. You threw away the peel and only put the core for the required pectin? Which apple peeler/corer dud you use?
I dont have the name, but it’s just the red hand crank peeler that makes spiral slices. Yes I threw away the peelings.
If properly canned, how long can they stay? I would like to make a very large batch of this!
Hi Cathy, I try to eat them up within a year, but have also enjoyed jars that are several years old. With the vinegar and sugar both acting as preservatives, the apple butter holds up well over time.
Totally agree… leaving skins and cores in the pot makes a much better product. This batch took much less time than previous batches with peeled and cored apples. Since the natural pectin in the complete apple thickens the apple butter sooner, there is less cooking time required to get the consistency of great apple butter. True, there is the time and mess involved in running it thru a food mill, but I felt the naturally thickened butter was worth it. Thanks for your recipe!
Question: Do you leave the stems on? Thank you.
Hi, there! Either way is fine — it doesn’t make a major difference to the recipe. They will be removed along with the fibrous parts of the core and the seeds when you puree the apples.
Turned out absolutely awesome!! Could you use this recipe to make applesauce just don’t cook it down ?
Hi, Duane! Absolutely! When we were kids, my mom and grandma would process huge batches of apples, and turn half into applesauce and the other half into apple butter. The only difference was the cook time. If you’d like more instructions on applesauce, check out this post!
Hey, what if I don’t have food mill? How will i take pit the puree? You have not peeled and taken out the seeds? Then how do I do that step if I dont hv a food mill
Hello Manjula, to use this recipe you must have a food mill. If you have a mesh sieve, you may be able to use the back of a spoon to push the mixture through it. But that will be rather tedious. If you don’t want to try that I recommend checking out a different recipe.
I dont have a food mill either but what i did was peel core choped apple cook till apple was soft drained apples and put in my blender in small batches and pureed to make the apple butter but make sure apples are cooled before putting in blender to puree than did recipe as described hope this helps
I used a mesh sieve and a pestle. Perhaps a bit more tedious, but worth it. Delicious recipe!
Excellent backyard apple tree solution. I have made two batches, and just use a regular sieve. It takes me about an hour to push the pulp through. I let it cool down, first, then I can use my hands to get all the delicious pulp off the skins.
Wow!! I made my first apple butter and it was wonderful!! The taste is out of this world!! I made 30, 1/2 pints and 5 pints.Thank so much for your wonderful recipe!!!
When it says (cooked apples and liquid) is that the water and vinegar that you cooked the apples in?