October 11, 2011

Canning Apple Butter

It is Autumn here in the Ozark Mountains!  Sadly enough, most of the apple trees are bare this year.  Lots of spring rain, then extreme heat and humidity leading to a drought, seemed to have ruined the Ozark apple crop.  Reports say that the trees that were heavily laden, were stripped bare by critters needing nourishment.  My dear in-law's trees went through this.  The fruit was there one day, then the next it was gone as if it was picked clean in the night.  So needless to say, apples are few and far between and highly treasured in our neck of the woods these days.

Making jams and butters are an excellent way to begin to teach your children how to preserve/can or simply to get them in the kitchen to help. They are extremely easy and the final product is delicious!  

These Gala's are the first batch of apples I got my hands on and they made a delicious Apple Butter!

As with any fruit or vegetable, be sure to wash it thoroughly.  

Prepare a large, clean bowl or bucket to hold the peeled apple in.  Fill with enough water to cover the amount of apples you are going to work with (one batch = 5 1/2 pounds) and then add a few glugs of lemon juice.  "Glug or glugs" are my technical Ozarkian terms.  You could just add a few Tablespoons of lemon juice to the water.  Lemon juice is added to keep your apples from turning brown while they sit waiting for you to finish peeling, coring and slicing all of your apples.  

I recommend investing in an apple peeler.  They are the most handy dandy items when working with apples because they peel, core and slice beautifully all at once.  Also, these peelers make it extremely easy and fun for children to join in and learn!  You can remove the core and slicing gadget that comes with it if you are making Apple Pie Filling though and prefer to have the apples sliced in the traditional method.  Otherwise, these sliced begin in a thin spiral which works perfectly for cooking the apple down.

See how thin the slices are?  I then simply cut down the middle of the slices, it isn't necessary, but it seems to help them cook down faster because they will separate in the mix of things.  

When you are all done with preparing the apples, pour the water off (drain the apples) and put the apples in your pot or slow cooker.  I prefer to use the slow cooker now that I know how easy it makes this process.  

In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt.  Pour the mixture over the apples and mix well.

Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.

Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.

Uncover and continue cooking on low for 1 hour.  This allows the steam to escape and the butter to cook down.  

Stir with a whisk or stick blender.  I use a stick blender for a smooth texture.  

Spoon your butter into sterile half-pint or pint canning jars.  Process for 15 minutes in a hot-water bath.  You can also put the mixture in other sterile containers and refrigerate or freeze instead of canning it.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Apple Butter

5 1/2 pounds apples - peeled, cored and finely chopped

4 cups sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of Apple Pie Spice (optional, I add it in)


  1. I love this season and this is one of the reasons why! Apple butter does not last long in my home. I have yet to have the opportunity to make any this year and we are out! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Glad to help Monica! This is actually the first year I've made it and I can't believe how easy it is. We actually started this in the evening and just left it in the slow cooker to cook overnight. By morning it was ready to jar up after I took the lid off for an hour. You can't get easier than that!

  3. That does sound easy and the butter looks delicious.

    What catches my eye is the picture of the canned tomatoes. They are such a dark rich red. What variety of tomatoes did you use?

  4. I use as many organic heirloom tomatoes as my garden will provide like Millionaires, Mortagage Lifters, Amish Paste and Brandywines for canning and everything else I use them in. If I run short, I will get some organic Big Beefs from an Amish friend, but the picture shows jars of the heirloom tomatoes. You can never beat them for taste!

  5. I just got done cooking up a big batch of crock pot apple butter myself, I love the way it makes the whole house smell yummy! I love your picture off to the side for peach butter as well- that looks delicious! ~April

  6. Thank you April! Your recipe for Norwegian Apple Squares looks delicious! Guess what I'm going to making today! Since we'll be peeling a bushel of apples for applesauce, why not try your recipe too! AND your Sausage Pie with apples in it is something else that looks delicious. Thank you for the recipes!! Everybody, you have GOT to go to April's blog and check her latest apple recipes out! http://www.aprilshomemaking.com/

  7. Your apple butter looks wonderful! The apple harvest here in Northern Missouri was not the best this year. Between late frosts, severe windstorms and lack of rainfall I was happy to get what I did off of my three trees. Some years ya win and some years ya lose I guess.

  8. I have to agree with ya there! Last year we had SO many apples that instead of cutting around the bad spots on some, they got fed to the cows instead. This year I'd be grateful to have those apples back!

  9. Your Apple Butter looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.


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