Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sweet Apple Cider Butter Recipe

Nothing marks autumn more perfectly than a trip to the orchard. Anyone who has been apple-picking on a sunny October afternoon, driving a wheelbarrow through the rows, and especially with kids in tow, knows how fun it is to search for the biggest, tastiest apples in the trees.  When we went recently, the apples were so ripe and abundant they were raining down.  We'd pull one and two others would fall.  As always, before we know it, we're driving home with a trunk full of apples.  A couple pies put a little dent into it, a bunch were saved for fresh eating, a bunch were juiced, and the rest were made into an amazing apple butter.  I think people either love or hate the stuff, but as an apple butter aficionado, I can say there's no comparison to homemade, especially when the apples were on the tree just a few hours prior to being infused with spices and spread on a cracker.  The recipe below is an adapted double batch of Sweet Apple Cider Butter from the Ball book, and I used the honey alternative to sugar.  I also saved some pot-watching time by cooking down the apple butter in a slow cooker.  

Honeycrisp Apples

An apple peeler is a necessary gadget if you're working with a lot of apples

Making applesauce.  Spices are then added, and the whole thing is cooked down for hours.  

Sweet Apple Cider Butter - makes about 8 pint jars

12 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
4 cups apple cider
2 cups honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice

In a large stainless steel pot over medium-high heat, combine apples and cider and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally until apples are soft, about 30 minutes.  

Process the apples just until a uniform texture is achieved (in batches in a blender or using a food processor or by using an immersion blender).  Do not liquefy.  

Scoop pureed apples into slow cooker.  Add honey, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.  Cook on high for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally so the apple butter does not burn (alternatively, cook on low for about 8-10 hours).  

Prepare canner, jars, and lids.  Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles, adjust headspace if necessary and wipe rim.  Center lid on jar and screw on ring.  Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store.  


  1. Hi Wendy, Wow, does that look delicious! Apples are so delicious fresh off the tree, aren't they? I think I need me an apple peeler. That thing looks like it makes things so much easier. Cheers!

  2. Hey you!!!!! Ha...we are literally just driving back from picking!!! This looks awesome!!! I'm thinking I need to give it a go.....and your peeler!!! I need one of those! Thanks for sharing lady!!! All the best in the week ahead!!!

  3. Ha!!! We are literally driving back from picking right now!! This looks so delicious!!! I need to give it a go!!!! And I need one of those peelers too!!! Thank you for sharing the method as I am a bit of a newbie!!! All the best this week!!!

  4. I have fond memories of apple butter from when I was a kid. Haven't had it in years, but I think you have just inspired me. Here's hoping I can find my jars and lids somewhere in the overflowing garage from hell.

  5. Sounds a lot like my recipe, but with brandy, and the apples just get chopped up, cores and all, then strained at the end. The pips add a bit of natural pectin. I guess the straining is just as much work as peeling and coring, but I hate the peeling part (no fancy peeling machine here). The long cooking time makes the whole house smell divine.

  6. looks amazing, Wendy. God you eat well.


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