Sharing a seriously fun love for food

Spiced Apple Butter

Spiced Apple Butter

My Mom loved apple butter and there’s something about this time of year that makes her memory feel especially close.

My Mom and Dad sitting on the back porch at the house on the Powell Ranch

Making apple butter is a true labor of love. It takes time to cook fresh apples into a thick, silky spread but it is definitely worth the time and effort.

As typically happens when I am in the market surrounded by bins of beautiful produce, I become captivated with the vast selection. Having more than a few apples left from baking my apple tart I decided apple butter should be on the menu.

Apple butter is made from crisp apples and vivid spices of cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Then it’s slowly cooked to create that depth of fragrance and flavor.

As I do with baking, I use a variety of apples to heighten the levels of taste on your tongue. This layering of apples captures the essence of the spices and develops into a dark amber spread.

The foundation of this apple butter is from an old recipe. In the original recipe the home cook is directed to press the soft apples through a sieve after the first step of cooking. But instead, take a shortcut and use an immersion blender. The apples turn into a glorious velvety sauce perfect for cooking into the butter.

The final phase of cooking takes at least an hour. You want the consistency to be luscious, almost creamy in texture. And here’s a simple trick to check and see if your apple butter is ready – drop a spoonful on a plate. If liquid separates from the butter, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes or until it holds together.

The plate on the left shows the consistency of the apple butter after one hour, the center after one hour and ten minutes and the plate on the right is perfectly set at one hour and 15 minutes.

This recipe makes 5 half-pints and can be doubled if you’re ready to get started making holiday gifts. You can refrigerate the apple butter or process the jars in a water bath if you’re looking for a longer shelf life.

Pull up a stool, put on your favorite playlist and soak up the intoxicating aromas – your patience will be rewarded!

Spiced Apple Butter

3 pounds of assorted apples*, about 6 apples

4 cups pure, unsweetened apple juice, such as Simply Apple

1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

* For this batch I used 1 Granny Smith, 2 Gala, 1 McIntosh, 1 Smitten and 1 Jonagold. Mix it up and use your favorite cooking apples.

Peel, core and slice the apples – you should have about 10 cups.

Combine the apples with the apple juice in a large kettle or stockpot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat then cover the pot with foil or a lid. Cook for 30 minutes or until the apples are very tender.

Using an immersion blender, puree the apples until you have a very smooth sauce. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.

Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium heat and continue cooking uncovered for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The time will vary depending on the juiciness of your apples. Stir the butter frequently. The last 15 to 20 minutes you will need to stir almost constantly to prevent the butter from sticking and scorching.

After an hour, drop a spoonful on a plate. If liquid separates from the butter, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Cook, stirring until the butter holds together when a spoonful is dropped on the plate.

Ladle the butter into clean, sterile jars. Refrigerate or process in a water bath*.

Makes 5 half-pints.

*If you’re canning the preserves in a water bath, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of your jars. Ball makes wonderful canning jars and has great step-by-step guidelines to canning safely on their website.

Spiced Apple Butter, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

November 2, 2018
: 5 half pints

Crisp apples are woven with vivid spices of cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, allspice and cloves creating a fruit butter that is full of fragrance and flavor.

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 pounds of assorted apples*, about 6 apples
  • 4 cups pure, unsweetened apple juice, such as Simply Apple
  • 1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • *I used 1 Granny Smith, 2 Gala, 1 McIntosh, 1 Smitten and 1 Jonagold. Mix it up and use your favorite cooking apples.
Directions
  • Step 1 Peel, core and slice the apples – you should have about 10 cups. Combine the apples with the apple juice in a large kettle or stockpot.
  • Step 2 Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat then cover the pot with foil or a lid. Cook for 30 minutes or until the apples are very tender.
  • Step 3 Using an immersion blender, puree the apples until you have a very smooth sauce.
  • Step 4 Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
  • Step 5 Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium heat and continue cooking uncovered for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The time will vary depending on the juiciness of your apples. Stir the butter frequently. The last 15 to 20 minutes you will need to stir almost constantly to prevent the butter from sticking and scorching.
  • Step 6 After an hour, drop a spoonful on a plate. If liquid separates from the butter, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Cook, stirring until the butter holds together when a spoonful is dropped on the plate.
  • Step 7 Ladle the butter into clean, sterile jars. Refrigerate or process in a water bath*.
  • Step 8 Makes 5 half-pints.
  • Step 9 *If you’re canning the preserves in a water bath, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of your jars. Ball makes wonderful canning jars and has great step-by-step guidelines to canning safely on their website.


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