How to Make Homemade Apple Butter: A Traditional Recipe to Preserve Your Harvest

Are you one of those people who love apples but hate to waste them during the apple season? Then, you’ll be thrilled to learn how to make delicious apple butter that can last for several months. The best part is that you only need a few simple ingredients and a bit of patience. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to make apple butter from scratch using a traditional recipe. We’ll also cover how to can apple butter and answer some frequently asked questions, such as what apple butter is made from and how long it keeps for. So, let’s dive in and learn how to make your own homemade apple butter!

The History of Apple Butter

You may be wondering, “Who made apple butter, and how did it become such a beloved spread?” Well, my friend, let me tell you the story.

Early Origins

Apple butter has been around for centuries, with its origins dating back to Europe in the Middle Ages. It was a way to preserve apples, which were abundant during the fall season. Apples were cooked down with sugar and spices then canned for use throughout the year.

American Innovation

When European settlers arrived in North America, they brought apple butter with them, and it quickly became a staple in American homes. Many families would spend days simmering vats of apple butter over an open flame. The process was time-consuming, but the result was a thick, rich spread that could be stored for months.

Modern Methods

Today, making apple butter is much easier than it was in the past. Many recipes call for slow-cooking in a crockpot or simmering on the stove for a few hours. Some even use an instant pot for faster results. But even with modern methods, the process still requires patience and attention to detail.

Who Made It Popular?

So, who made apple butter popular? That’s a tough question to answer, as apple butter has been a beloved spread for centuries. However, many brands have helped increase its popularity over the years, including Musselman’s and Smucker’s.

The Future of Apple Butter

Despite its ancient origins, apple butter remains a popular spread to this day. It’s a versatile condiment that pairs well with toast, biscuits, pork roast, and even ice cream. Whether you make it from scratch or buy it from a store, apple butter is a delicious way to enjoy the flavor of fall all year round.

In conclusion, the story of who made apple butter is a long and storied one, with roots dating back centuries. However, the spread’s popularity shows no signs of waning, and we can expect it to remain a beloved condiment for generations to come.

How to Can Apple Butter

So, you’ve made a large batch of delicious apple butter, and you’re wondering what to do with it all. Sure, you could eat it all in one sitting, but that’s not exactly a healthy or sustainable option. Fear not, for canning is here to save the day! With just a few simple steps, you can preserve your apple butter for months and enjoy it whenever the mood strikes. Plus, it’s a great way to share your bounty with friends and family.

Step 1: Prepare your Equipment

First things first, make sure you have all the necessary equipment to begin the canning process. You’ll need a large pot for boiling water, a canning rack, canning jars, and lids. Make sure everything is clean and sterilized before you begin.

Step 2: Fill Your Jars

Now it’s time to fill your jars with apple butter. Make sure to leave a half-inch of headspace at the top of each jar, so the contents have room to expand. Wipe down the rims of the jars to remove any excess butter, so they seal correctly.

Step 3: Seal Your Jars

Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings until they’re finger-tight. Don’t overtighten the rings, or you’ll risk warping the lids. Place the jars on the canning rack and lower them into the pot of boiling water. Make sure the jars are fully submerged in the water.

Step 4: Process Your Jars

Process your jars in the boiling water for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your jars. Make sure to adjust the processing time if you’re at a high altitude. After the processing time is up, turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for a few minutes to cool down.

Step 5: Store Your Apple Butter

Once the jars have cooled down, remove them from the water with a jar lifter and let them cool completely on a towel. Check the seals on each jar by pressing down on the lid. If it doesn’t pop up and down, the jar is properly sealed. Store your jars of apple butter in a cool, dark place and enjoy all year round.

Now that you know how to can your apple butter, you can make it in large batches without worrying about it going bad. Plus, it makes for a tasty homemade gift for friends and family. So go ahead, can with confidence, and savor the deliciousness of your homemade apple butter any time of the year.

What is Apple Butter Made From?

You might be asking yourself, “What exactly is apple butter, and what is it made from?” Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Apple butter is a delicious spread that is made from cooked down apples, sugar, and spices. It’s similar to apple sauce, but the cooking process makes it thicker, smoother, and richer in flavor.


Of course, apples are the star of the show when it comes to making apple butter. You can use almost any variety of apple, but some work better than others. Tart apples like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp are ideal because they hold their shape well during cooking and balance out the sweetness of the sugar. However, you can experiment with different types of apples to find your perfect recipe.


To make apple butter, you need to add sugar to the cooked apples. The amount of sugar you use can vary depending on your taste preferences and the sweetness of the apples you’re using. Some recipes call for white sugar, while others use brown sugar or a combination of both. You can even try using honey, maple syrup, or other sweeteners to add a unique flavor to your apple butter.


Lastly, spices are essential when it comes to making apple butter. Cinnamon is a classic choice and pairs perfectly with the sweet apples. Other spices like nutmeg and cloves add depth and complexity to the flavor. You can also experiment with adding different spices like ginger or cardamom to create a unique taste.

In summary, apple butter is a delicious spread made from cooked down apples, sugar, and spices. By using tart apples, adding sugar to taste, and incorporating spices, you can create a personalized recipe that will impress anyone who tries it. So go ahead, get creative with your apple butter, and enjoy the delicious results!

Traditional Apple Butter Recipe

Are you tired of buying store-bought apple butter that tastes like sugary mush? Do you want to know how to make apple butter like the olden days? Look no further! In this section, we’ll teach you how to make traditional apple butter that will leave your taste buds asking for more.

Choosing the Apples

When it comes to making apple butter, not all apples are created equal. The type of apple you choose can make or break your batch. It’s important to choose apples that are right for the job. Some of the best apples for apple butter are:

    ho made apple butter

  • Cortland
  • Jonathan
  • McIntosh
  • Rome

Avoid using apples that are too sweet, like Red Delicious. They tend to break down too quickly, and the apple butter will have a grainy texture.

Preparing the Apples

Once you’ve chosen your apples, it’s time to prepare them for cooking. Wash the apples and remove any stems or leaves. Cut the apples into quarters and remove the core and seeds. Don’t bother peeling the apples because that’s where the flavor comes from.

Cooking the Apples

Place the apples in a large pot and pour in enough water to cover them halfway. Bring the apples and water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer the apples for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

ho made apple butter

Mashing the Apples

Once the apples are soft and fully cooked, remove them from the heat and let them cool slightly. Use a potato masher or blender to puree the apples into a smooth consistency.

ho made apple butter

Adding Spices

To give your apple butter that traditional flavor, it’s important to add the right spices. Some of the most common spices include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Cloves

Add the spices to the mashed apples and stir thoroughly. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Cooking the Apple Butter

Return the spiced apple mixture to the pot and cook over low heat. Stir the mixture every 15-20 minutes to prevent it from burning. This process can take anywhere from two to eight hours, depending on how thick you like your apple butter. Roughly two to three hours should produce a nice, spreadable consistency.


Once your apple butter is done cooking, transfer it to a jar with a lid and store it in the refrigerator. It should last for several weeks, if it lasts that long.

Congratulations, you’ve just made traditional apple butter! Spread it on toast, stir it into oatmeal, or eat it straight out of the jar. The possibilities are endless.

How Long Will Homemade Apple Butter Keep?

So, you’ve just made a big batch of homemade apple butter, and you’re already dreaming of spreading it over your morning toast or using it to add a sweet touch to your dinner dishes. But now you’re facing an important question: how long can you safely keep that delicious treat?

Well, the answer is … it depends!

Shelf Life of Homemade Apple Butter

First of all, let’s talk about what apple butter actually is. Essentially, it’s a spread made from cooked apples, sugar, and spices. Because of the high sugar content, homemade apple butter can last for quite a while without going bad.

In general, if you store your homemade apple butter in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator, it can last for up to 3 to 4 weeks. However, if you want to keep it for longer than that, you’ll need to take a few additional steps.

ho made apple butter

Freezing Homemade Apple Butter

If you’ve made a larger batch than you can eat in 3 to 4 weeks or you want to store it for a longer time, then freezing your homemade apple butter is the way to go.

To freeze your apple butter, let it cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Leave a little bit of space at the top for the apple butter to expand as it freezes. Then, simply pop it in the freezer, and it will keep for up to 6 months.

Canning Homemade Apple Butter

If you really want to get serious about extending the shelf life of your homemade apple butter, then canning is the way to go. Properly canned apple butter can last for up to a year on the shelf!

To can your apple butter, be sure to follow a trusted recipe and use proper canning techniques. This will involve sterilizing your jars and lids, filling them with hot apple butter, and processing them in a boiling water bath. If you’re new to canning, it’s always a good idea to do some research and follow a step-by-step guide.

With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your homemade apple butter for weeks, months, or even up to a year! Now, go spread that deliciousness on everything you can find!

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