How to make Apple Butter

By DK on Jul 14, 2010
Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
There are multiple ways to cut fat in your baked goods without compromising much on taste. I don't believe in enjoying healthy foods that TASTES healthy in the commercial sense; read as - bland, earthy, times a complete blech. I scout for recipes that are nutritious without making the consumer feel like a nobody. I am more of instead of "10 tbsp of butter", use 5 tbsp and substitute something healthy and naturally low fat instead.  Though a lot of options are readily available nowadays in the market to make such replacements, I tend to steer clear from a lot of them due to artificial ingredients.
Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
So when I found this recipe for Apple Butter that I could whip up right at home, in about 15-20 minutes, I was ecstatic.  Apple Butter, homemade tastes much better than the store bought ones. There are many recipes and variations for making apple butter with most of them relying on store bought apple sauce.  This recipe uses fresh apples and also uses a natural sweetener (if using) - Maple Syrup. Mildly spiced, these are a dream to have in your fridge.  This recipes gives you a spiced and sweetened version of Apple Butter which you can skip so that you can use it in all your baked goods without the butter overpowering the taste.
Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
I also use it few other ways which I have elaborated below the post. I use this to mostly cut back on butter in my baked goods where a slight hint of apples wont hurt. I was using apple sauce but I find apple butter a better consistency closer to that of butter :) And somehow the word "Butter" in Apple butter helps my psychology a bit ;) (Dont mind my ridiculous mindsets...)

recipe courtesy the essential vegetarian

Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 15 min
Cook Time: Under 30 min
Yield: About 2 cups
  • 4 pounds of Granny Smith apples peeled, seeded and sliced (or any other sweet tart variety)
  • 1/3 cup fresh pressed apple juice (not from concentrate)
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup (or use dark brown sugar)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and/or cloves to taste
Note: To make Unsweetened Version for baked Goods simply omit the maple syrup/sugar and spices. I eyeballed my spices hence don't have measurements.

You can use Pressure cooker, Stove top or microwave to make this. I don't normally use M/W for cooking and would have used pressure cooker. But to show you how it is made at every stage, I have used Stove top for today's post. But I would recommend pressure cooking since it traps flavors better than stove top and is more aromatic.

Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
Place all the ingredients in a large stock pot
Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
with a tight lid
Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.
Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the apples are soft enough to mash with the back of a wooden spoon - this takes approx 15-25 minutes, depending on the size and type of apples.
Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
Remove the apple mixture from the heat and puree with an immersion blender.
Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
You can of course use a food processor but make sure to do it in v short spurts until smooth. Otherwise the result might get watery. You want a thick and smooth consistency
Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
and not like an applesauce. And that's it. You can refrigerate this upto 2 weeks. Do not freeze. I usually make small quantities like this and use it all within 10-15 days.

For Pressure Cooker Method:
I combine all the ingredients , cook for 4-5 whistles and then blend it using my blender. More whistles than that, I find that my butter becomes watery. I think you would have to experiment with your pressure cooker to get the consistency I show before blending. Soft but not watery.

For Microwave Method: While I have never used this method myself,
I am just writing down the notes added by the original author of this recipe.  For M/w, reduce the apple juice to 2 tbsp. Then place all the ingredients in a m/w bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or m/w resistant plate and cook full power for 8 minutes turning the bowl 180 degrees once halfway through. Check, and if apples are not soft enough to mash with the back of a wooden spoon, repeat for another 4 minutes. test again and repeat if necc. Puree as mentioned for stove top method.

Easy & healthy Fresh Apple Butter recipe (with homemade applesauce)
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4 members have made this recipe!
Did you make this recipe?Please click below to share your experiences while you were making this recipe. Thanks for your input!
30 Responses to “How to make Apple Butter”
  1. Emily

    So, to clarify. This recipie really makes applesauce. A great substitute for baking. Apple butter is applesauce that has been reduced and thickened. This is why some recipies start with applesauce. When you cook it down (on the stove (but watch it!), in the oven or in the crockpot all day) it thickens and darkens. Add spices and sweeteners as desired. Also, much of the pectin (thickens) is in the core and peel. So you can just cut out the bad spots and cook the quarted apples without peeling or coring. When they are softened, then run through a food mill or push the pulp through a sieve to remove peels/seeds. I hope this helps! :)

  2. DG

    Used your recipe as a guideline, but, started mine from my childhood memories of watching my grand mother make it. As it turned out delicious, my memory served me well indeed. Thanks for the tips!

  3. RTF

    :?: Can this recipe be canned using the water bath method?

  4. John Howe

    I have made this receipe using a combination of ripe bartlet pears and jonathan gold apples. Wash the fruit well, do not peal or core. Cut into fourths or eighths and place in a large sauce pan. Add several cups of apple juice to help start the process. Simmer until mushy then run through a sieve. Put the sauce in a crock pot and simmer on low until the desired thickness is obtained. The sauce will take on a beautiful tan hue during the reducing process. I have added a small amounts of molasses and and/or apple cider vinegar to control the desired sweetness/tartness. Add the spices at the end of the reducing process. It’s all a matter of taste. An all pear version is also delicious, maybe more so. No watery problem here and it freezes well. Oh, by the way, I use apple pie spices.

  5. SK

    I always wanted to make apple butter, but was confused with the numerous recipes online. Thanks for the simple and wonderful recipe. Could you also post some recipes where you have used this apple butter?

  6. I did however use honey instead of maple syrup. But it was only 1/2 a cup.

  7. Tried your recipe thanks. However, I excluded the apple juice as I’ve had problems with jams being too watery before. Mine was very runny even after several hours of cooking, plus the addition of cornflour and arrowroot. And I put a lot of corn flour in:

    Any ideas what went wrong?

  8. Becca

    I made this last thanksgiving and it was a huge success and everyone was begging for more. I have a write up on my blog ( and will be making it again this weekend to take to Passover sedar on Monday. Thanks for your clear directions!

  9. praseeda

    Hai can I maple syrup with palm sugar syrup

  10. Applebutter is apple sauce that has been caramelized during the cooking process.

  11. AA

    Hi, can we use Fuji Apples?

    As I mentioned, anything which is sweet tart variety will be perfect. I havent tasted that variety hence am not sure personally how it tastes. This link gives other sweet tart variety of apples –

  12. Jay

    How does this differ from applesauce? I wondering because I saw a similar recipe (if not the same) some time back for making homemade applesauce.

    Basically there is no difference between apple butter and apple sauce. The only difference I would say is the consistency of the end product. Apple sauce as the name depicts is more sauce like while the apple butter is thick. But both can be made with and without sweeteners and spices. Essentially its a fruit Jam which you can also water down a bit to make fruit sauce as topping for ice cream etc. Some articles say that – “Apple butter is made with applesauce – meaning to say they add spices to it, while applesauce is not”. But I have found recipes where applesauce has spices and sweeteners while apple butter does not have sweeteners/spices. So to say it one word – its the thickness and consistency that’s the difference :) Hope this helps :)

  13. HI…just a quick question…is there a diff between granny smith apples and grammy smith? we only get granny smith was just wondering…recipes sounds too easy to pass..esp the pressure cooker method.

    Oops sorry! Totally my mistake. Instead of Granny I had a typo – Grammy! Have corrected it :)

  14. very new idea to me! sounds lovely :)

  15. Kierie

    Would it be possible to make this in a crockpot/slowcooker and could I use agave?

    Oh yes, definitely. In a slow cooker esp, you will get a deeper and brown color :) and you can use any sweeteners

  16. wow..that sounds so easy and healthy…

  17. WOW! This is one healthy grab… Butter usually is consumed with a guilt….. But this prep more than being fat free is guilt free..!!!!! He! Thanks for sharing this prep… God Bless!!!! :)


  18. SD

    Apple and maple syrup !!!! 8)
    Way to go DK …. :wink:

  19. This is truly a healthy alternative to the fatty butter. I would love to use this in my baking. Good one DK.

  20. Gud one dear…looks yum..I’m eager to try :)

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