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Apple Butter

With apples coming out of my ears from last weekend’s apple picking trip, I decided to try to make apple butter for the first time.

You may already know this, but apple butter does not, in fact, contain any butter. The ingredients are simple: apples, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and fall spices like cinnamon and cloves. You’ll need either a food mill or a chinois sieve (a conical sieve with a very fine mesh) to strain the apples into a fine puree. A food mill would have been faster, but I wasn’t about to buy a new kitchen appliance just for this project.

I followed the recipe from Simply Recipes as closely as I could, although I only made about half as much apple butter. If you want to try it yourself, I recommend you head to the website for the complete process and measurements as well as links for how to follow proper canning procedures. My favorite part of this recipe was the surprise lemon rind and juice.

In general, there are 5 main steps:

1. Cut up apples (don’t peel or core) and boil them for 20 minutes in water and apple cider vinegar.

2. Strain the apple mixture through the sieve into a fine puree

3. Add sugar and spices

4. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 hours until thick and smooth. (stmemory exclusive tip: if stirring for that long sounds boring, just watch a movie on your laptop in the kitchen while sitting and stirring. I watched Bridesmaids and the apple butter turned out very well – just saying).

5. Once it’s cool, put your sweet, smooth apple butter in a pretty glass jar.

Strained apple puree separated from the pulp.

As you can see by comparing this photo with the first photo in the post, the apple butter turns from yellow to a rich caramel color after you cook it.

What are your favorite things to make when you have a bunch of apples?

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Rebecca #


    Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one that brings my laptop into the kitchen to surreptitiously watch guilty-pleasure movies while my husband is away. It’s one of my favorite things.

    October 28, 2011

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