Apple Butter

apple butter

Apple Butter

For years, I would pick up apples from the market in the fall and just make applesauce. One year, my friend Dinha offered all the apples off her apple tree - an offer I could not pass up. Those bushels of apples inspired me to make apple butter, and ever since that windfall of apples, a year does not go by without making this preserve. Apple butter is simply a caramelized thicker applesauce that has a smooth spreading consistency. It is fantastic swirled into oatmeal or yogurt, but it is equally delicious used as a spread on a Montreal smoked meat grilled cheese sandwich.
YIELD : 8-250 ml jars
WATER BATH PROCESSING TIME: 10 minutes for altitudes of 1000 feet or below. Adjust processing time for other altitudes.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 hrs 30 mins
Water Bath Processing Time 10 mins
Total Time 13 hrs
Course breakfast, condiment, snack
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 8 250 ml jars
Calories 23 kcal


  • 6 or 8-litre slow cooker
  • 12-litre pot
  • canning pot
  • wire basket or tray for the bottom of the canning pot
  • jar lift
  • magnetic wand for lid placement
  • 8-250 ml sterilized jars with lids and rings
  • hand immersion blender
  • optional: food mill
  • optional: blender


To make the apple puree:

  • 6 lbs apples cored and cut in large pieces (about 20 cups). If you do not have a food mill, you will have to also peel the apples.
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups apple cider

To make the apple butter:

  • cups sugar the exact quantity of sugar is determined after the apple puree is made
  • tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground allspice


  • Add the apple pieces, cider and water to a large pot and bring to boil over high heat. Continue to cook until the apples have broken down and have started to come away from the peels. This should take about 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove the peels by running the mixture through a food mill. If you do not have a food mill and you peeled your apples, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree.
  • Measure your puree and transfer it to the slow cooker.
  • NOTE: You can store the puree overnight in the fridge and continue with the recipe the following day. If you do this, heat the puree either in the microwave or on the stove before proceeding to the next step.
  • For every cup of puree add 2 tablespoons of sugar, and add the spices. Puree with a hand immersion blender to smooth out the apple butter.
  • Turn the slow cooker on low and place a wooden spoon so that the lid of the slow cooker is slightly ajar. You want the steam to escape the slow cooker otherwise your puree will not cook down. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or until the puree is dark and thick.
  • Puree the apple butter a second time using the hand immersion blender.
  • Transfer the apple butter to an 8-litre pot and bring to a boil.
  • Pour the apple butter into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼" headspace. Run a sterilized knife or thin kitchen utensil through the preserve to remove air bubbles. Top each jar with a washed and briefly warmed snap lid. (I put the snap lid in boiling hot water for 30 seconds, this softens the seal.) Add the sterilized ring and tighten to finger tip tightness. Process using the boiling water method in a canning pot for 10 minutes.
  •  Remove the jars and cool on a board or metal rack. Don't disturb for 24 hours.
  • Remove the rings and inspect the jars. If some of the apple butter has leaked out onto the jars, wipe them clean with a soapy cloth. Store the jars without the rings on in a dark cool place for up to a year.
  • Store jars that don't seal in the fridge and use immediately.



If you do not have a slow cooker, or would prefer to cook your puree in the oven, you can. Cook in a 300°F oven until the puree is dark and thick (about 4-5 hours.)
Altitude 1001-3000 process 15 minutes, altitude 3001-6000 process 20 minutes, altitude over 6001 feet process 25 minutes.


Serving: 1-tbspCalories: 23kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
Keyword apple butter, canning, slow cooker
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 Replies to “Apple Butter”

  1. 5 stars
    Fresh apples are upon us. The time invested in making this apple butter is well worth it. The aroma while cooking and the smooth texture and natural sweetness of the apple butter will be a winner this Fall in your household. Time to pick apples – Enjoy your apple butter!!

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe. Very tasty addition to oatmeal. I am planning on making a second batch as I don’t think one will get me through the winter!

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