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How to Make Apple Butter

Apple butter may boast a smooth, creamy texture, but it actually contains no butter at all. Here's how to make this easy, spreadable treat.


  • Step 1: Prepare the apples Wash, peel, and core the apples, and then cut them into a small dice.
  • Step 2: Cook apples until soft Put the apples and cider or water into a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and place on low heat until the apples become soft, about 30 minutes.
  • Step 3: Add the sugar and spices Add the sugar, spices, and salt. If you like, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to enhance the flavor of the apples.
  • Step 4: Stir mixture and cook more Return the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and stir frequently to avoid burning, and taste the apple butter while it cooks. Too tart? Add a little more sugar. Continue cooking the apples until the mixture is very thick, one to two hours.
  • TIP: You can also combine the ingredients in a slow cooker and set it on low heat with the lid ajar for eight to 10 hours until the mixture thickens.
  • Step 5: Test the thickness To test for doneness, scoop up a spoonful. If the butter keeps its rounded shape, rather than flattening out, it’s ready.
  • TIP: If you like your apple butter super smooth, mash in any remaining apple bits with a potato masher.
  • Step 6: Serve or store If you plan to eat the apple butter immediately, let it cool before serving. Store the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze it.
  • FACT: The Pennsylvania Dutch introduced apple butter in 1765, calling it lattwaerick.

You Will Need

  • 4 lbs. mixed variety apples
  • 1 c. apple cider
  • 1 c. apple cider or water
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • u00bd tsp. cloves
  • u00bd tsp. allspice
  • A pinch of salt
  • Lemon (optional)
  • Slow cooker (optional)
  • Potato masher (optional)

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