How to Make Apple Butter

Capture a taste of fall with this step-by-step apple butter how-to from Sean Timberlake, founder of Punk Domestics, a site for DIY food enthusiasts.

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Apple Butter 101

Apple butter is a traditional preserve with a rustic, thick texture. It's also one of the easiest to make, requiring no peeling or coring, and you can make it right in your slow cooker.

Get the Recipe: Apple Butter

Apple Prep

Thoroughly wash about 5 pounds of apples. If they seem waxy, scrub with a produce brush. Organic apples are recommended, since you will be cooking them with the skins on.

Ready for the Slow Cooker

Quarter the apples and add them to your slow cooker. Add 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 cup apple cider or juice. Cook, covered, until the apples are soft.

Easy Mashing

Mash the apples with a potato masher until thoroughly pulped.

Through the Food Mill

Run the pulp through a food mill to catch the skins and seeds, passing a puree. If you do not have a food mill, press the pulp through a sieve.

Sweeten Things Up

Add 1.5 cups dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and allspice, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the apple butter darkens and it mounds on a spoon. Adjust sweetness and seasonings to taste. Store in the refrigerator for a month, or water-bath can for 15 minutes to make stable for shelving and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

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