This Apple Butter Recipe is like capturing the essence of fall in a jar. 🍎🍂
It takes the flavors of tart apples, sweet maple syrup, and warm cinnamon and transforms them into a velvety smooth spread — perfect for toast, scones, oatmeal, and many other uses!
Making homemade apple butter may sound like a bit of a project. But apple butter is actually surprisingly easy to make. The only real work is chopping and peeling apples. After that, just dump ingredients in a pot and blend them up. Not too bad when you consider how much use you’ll get from this batch of appley goodness.
This recipe is also quick and easy to make. While some other apple butter recipes use a slow cooker, we simmer this apple butter over the stovetop. That allows us to get the apple butter done and ready to eat fast!
You could also double the batch, fill up some jars, and tie some ribbons around them — for the perfect host gift to your next dinner party or a special treat for your neighbors.
Why KJ Loves
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I love how making this apple butter makes your home smell like the best fall candle! It’s a great way to use up extra apples and it can be used in so many different ways – try it swirled into a cocktail for a fun drink option!
So…what exactly is apple butter?
Apple butter is like a concentrated, sweeter applesauce meant to be enjoyed over other foods.
It’s smoother than apple jam and sweeter and richer than applesauce.
Apple Butter Ingredients
You’ll want to peel and chop your apples before making the apple butter. If you can’t find Honeycrisp apples, try Fuji apples instead.
Pure Maple Syrup
You’ll want real maple syrup for this recipe. It adds a nice depth and a classic fall flavor.
Once the brown sugar is cooked over the stovetop, it gets caramelized and delicious.
This spice brings a nice warmth to the spread.
Cider works wonderfully as the cooking liquid for these tasty ingredients.
How to Make Apple Butter
Prep the apples.
Peel, core, and chop the apples.
Simmer the ingredients.
Add all of the ingredients in a pot. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples have softened and the sugars have caramelized. If the mixture gets too thick, you can add more apple cider as needed.
Blend everything up.
Take the pot off the hot burner and blend the mixture using an immersion hand blender. Or, you can transfer the softened apples and juices to a blender and blend until smooth. Be careful — the ingredients will be hot!
Reduce the apple butter.
If you used a blender, add the ingredients back to the pot.
Put the pot back onto the heat for a couple of minutes until the apple butter is darkened and condensed.
Serve or store.
Serve the apple butter warm over biscuits, toast, muffins, or swirled into your favorite tea.
Store the apple butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Wash the dishes. How sad.
How do I know when my apple butter is done?
You’ll want to check its consistency and color. Look for a thick, smooth, and spreadable texture with a deep, rich brown color (this means it’s properly caramelized).
Pro tip: Try the spoon test! Put a little bit of the apple butter on top of a plate, and then drag a spoon through it. If the apple butter holds its shape on a plate and the line drawn with a spoon remains visible, it’s ready to go!
Apple Butter Uses
I love that apple butter has so many uses! Try the following list, or come up with your own ideas!
- Brie and crackers
Apple butter is also an excellent ingredient in baked goods. It perfect when you want that autumn-y apple flavor, but don’t want all the extra liquid contained in fresh apples.
Some Recipes That Use Apple Butter
- Spiced Apple Butter Bread – instead of just smearing your apple butter on bread, bake it into the bread!
- This fluffy Apple Butter Coffee Cake is the perfect breakfast, dessert, or snack.
- Apple Butter Cheesecake is a creamy, cozy, and decadent treat.
- Well..technically, this is actually just another apple butter recipe, but it’s a cranberry apple butter recipe (yum!). Perfect if you want a little added zing.
Apple Butter FAQ
What is apple butter?
Apple butter is a thick, smooth spread made from cooked apples and spices. It has a caramelized, intense flavor that is sweet and slightly tangy.
What's the difference between applesauce and apple butter?
While both apple butter and applesauce are made from cooked apples, apple butter is cooked for a longer period of time, which gives it a thicker consistency and a darker brown color. Apple butter usually has more sugar and spices than applesauce, and is meant to be spread on other foods, whereas applesauce is meant to be enjoyed standalone.
Does apple butter taste like butter?
Nope! It’s closer in taste to applesauce or apple jam. The word “butter” refers to how the apple butter is spreadable.
What kind of apples are best for apple butter?
You can use any type of apple you’d like. I have gotten the best results from Honeycrisp apples, but other popular apple varieties that work for apple butter include Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonathan, Gala, and Fuji.
How do you know when apple butter is done?
The apple butter will be a dark brown color with a thick, spreadable consistency. You can test it by scooping a small amount onto a plate and seeing if it holds its shape or runs.
What thickens apple butter?
Apple butter is thickened by the natural pectin in the apples. Pectin is a natural fiber found in apples that helps to thicken the apple butter as it cooks down.
How long will homemade apple butter keep?
Homemade apple butter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in an airtight container in the freezer for several months.
Do you refrigerate apple butter?
Yes, apple butter should be refrigerated.
What is the best way to eat apple butter?
The possibilities are endless! Spread it on warm toast or freshly baked biscuits for a sweet and flavorful breakfast treat. You can also use it as a topping for pancakes or waffles or incorporate it into desserts like Apple Butter Cheesecake.
Did you make this recipe?
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