Apple Butter

Recipe for Apple Butter


1/2 peck, or 6 pounds of Grade B apples, washed and quartered
2 cups, or less, apple cider
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Rind and juice from 1 lemon


Wash apples and quarter them (coring and peeling is unnecessary), and cook until soft, adding enough cider to get them started without scorching. When the apples are soft, sieve them, add sugar, and season with remaining ingredients to taste. Simmer in a heavy pan over very low heat, uncovered, until desired thickness is reached. Stir often to avoid burning.


Makes 3-4 quarts.


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Apple butter

I've been wanted to make apple butter! How is this different from applesauce?

Apple Butter Versus Applesauce

The Editors's picture

Good question! They are similar in that you’re cooking apples. It’s more of a continuum. Applesauce is thinner. Apple butter is thicker—because it’s cooked longer. It becomes more of a spread. And it’s flavor becomes more condensed so it tastes more intense. Many folks use more spices in apple butter than applesauce but it’s personal preference. 


What brand of apple would be considered grade B? Thank You.

Frozen Apples

Can I use frozen apples and if so?

frozen apples to make apple butter

The Editors's picture

We are not sure what your entire question is, but yes you can use frozen apples.

apple butter

what can I use in place of apple cider? thankyyou

making apple butter

The Editors's picture

Hi, Susan. We highly recommend using the apple cider in this recipe. However, if you can’t get or find any, you can substitute with unsweetened apple juice.

You speak of all the

You speak of all the different kinds of apples and what they are good for but when you list your recipe for apple butter you do not list what particular apples you recommend or used in the recipe. It would help a person who is first starting out.

Hi, Peg. There is a link at

The Editors's picture

Hi, Peg. There is a link at the top of this page that you can click on to go to our apple page, which tells you what kind of apples to use for baking, sauce, etc. If you can’t find it, you can also click here:. 

And ,how do you save it. Is

And ,how do you save it. Is it like freezer jam.Cause I don't can.

You can store this in the

The Editors's picture

You can store this in the refrigerator.

What do you do with the lemon

What do you do with the lemon rind and juice, doesn't say in recipe?

It is a good idea to keep up

It is a good idea to keep up with new canning procedures from year to year. It is important! Why waste our time and energy just to have it go to waste. There are several changes in the past few years. Please call your county exchange or your University agriculture division for the lasted updates. Have your canner top tested for pressure, I found mine to be two minutes off--big difference. I suppose you can tell I love to cook and can.

Ms. Ella

it says in the recipe.

and season with remaining ingredients to taste

I"m an "ole" farm boy and

I"m an "ole" farm boy and yearly we made Apple Butter in an copper kettle. 30 gal. cider cooked to half volume, 5- 5 gal. buckets of "snits" cooked until soft, sugar,cinnamon an cloves to taste. Under a wood fire and stir an stir until jelly point. NOW that was Apple Butter!!! But your recipe tastes pretty good too. Yes there was such a thing as "The Good Ole Days"

If I want to do canning with

If I want to do canning with apple butter how long do I boil the bottles to seal them?

Hi Crystal, Recommended hot

The Editors's picture

Hi Crystal,
Recommended hot water processing time for pint jars is 5 minutes and for quart jars 10 min.

According to USDA Complete

According to USDA Complete guide to home canning:
Half pints or pints: 0-1,000ft is 5 min. 1,001-6,000 is 10 min. Above 6,000 ft is 15 min.
Quarts: 0-1,000ft is 10 min. 1,001-6,000ft is 15 min. Above 6,000 ft iss 20 min.

The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning can be downloaded for free from their site.

Please be more specific with times as this can be a safety issue. Thank you.

I was really suprized to see

I was really suprized to see how easy this was, I've been wanting to make my own apple butter for a while now and thought it too difficult. This recipe is fabulous Thank you!

You can also cook it in the

You can also cook it in the slow cooker. Takes longer than stovetop but you can do other things till you are close to end. Them turn om high and remove lid IF you need to cook out some liquid. Then you need to stir often so it wont stick and burn..

Hey I tired this with the

Hey I tired this with the slow cooker yesterday (@12 hr) used cored and peeled apples. Used the same ingredients stated in this recipe. Cooked it all day. Stiring every couple hours worked. WOW!! it works great! It tastes great...even my picky child loves it. THANKYOU!!

Apple butter

Great idea,,, going to jar this and give as presents. Mmmmmm.

I saw on Martha Stewart one

I saw on Martha Stewart one time that you can cook the butter overnight in the oven at 200 degrees. Much easier than on the stove top and no burning. Made making apple butter for me much easier. Still have to stir occasionally.