Apple Butter

Traditional apple butter can be so much more than spiced applesauce. Cooking with the peels adds rich colour and pectin. A long, slow simmer in the over results in a caramelized flavour and a texture that can't be matched with short cuts!


Apple Butter


  • 30 mixed variety (McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Granny Smith, Jonagold and Royal Gala are all good choices) quartered and cored apples
  • 1 litre any (can sub water) apple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves

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  • STEP 1

    Place juice or water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Quarter and core apples, adding them to the pot as you go. When all of the fruit is in, cover and mash occasionally with a potato masher until the quarters have broken apart and turned soft. 

  • STEP 2

    Press apple mash through a food mill, colander, or medium wire-mesh strainer. Return the applesauce to an enamelware dutch oven. (A heavy stainless steel pot would substitute, but no aluminum.) Preheat the oven to 225 deg F. Bring the sauce to a simmer on the stovetop, add the brown sugar then place it in the oven uncovered. Stir every hour for 6 hours. Sauce should reduce by about half. 

  • STEP 3

    Now add the spices, and continue to stir every half hour. When sauce is the consistency of mashed potatoes, it is done. Freeze or can in a water bath canner.