Whenever I make apple butter, I always think of my brother Brandon. Growing up, I never really liked apple butter, but he loved it. Chris loves it too, and I’ve come around enough to eat my own apple butter, so it’s generally a fall tradition.
The thing I like about canning apple butter is that it’s a lot more forgiving than jelly. There’s no critical rush to get it into the jars exactly one minute after you’ve added pectin, in fact you don’t even have to add pectin at all. It’s pretty much like making applesauce then adding sugar, spices, and cooking it way down. You could actually even save time and start with a jar of applesauce if you felt so inclined. I also like that it can be split if you don’t have time to do it all at once (I did the apple sauce stage last night and the rest tonight) and that most of it doesn’t require more than a stir every 10 minutes or so which means, though the recipe takes a long time from start to finish, it’s not really time you’ll be chained to the stove. Basically, this is an easy fruit spread with a big bang…especially when packaged in adorable mini 4oz jars just perfect for giving away.
This recipe makes about 10 cups (8oz) of apple butter (may differ slightly depending upon how you core your apples). It takes approximately 3 hours from start to finish.
Important! Please read this post about canning basics first!!
- 6 lbs tart cooking apples (I always use organic), pealed, cored, and quartered
- 4 1/2 cups organic apple cider
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice