Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Canning Apple Butter

Apples... Granny Smiths and Winesaps

Apples and cinnamon... one of my favorite fall scent combinations! And what better way to capture that scent (and flavor) than good old fashioned apple butter! I began my early September Saturday morning making apple butter... here's what I did...

I cored and sliced 12 pounds of apples... I mixed half and half Granny Smith apples and Winesaps.

In a large stainless steel saucepan, I combined my sliced apples with 4 cups of apple juice (the original recipe I was following called for apple cider, but I had the juice on hand and used the juice... water would be fine as well... the juice just adds another layer of flavor to the finished butter)

I brought my apple and juice mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduced the heat and boiled gently, stirring occasionally, until the apples were soft... took about 30 minutes.

Once the apples were soft, I worked in batches and transferred the mixture to a food mill, pureeing until I had a uniform apple mixture. (a food processor can be used for this step, but you would need to peel the apples before cooking)

I measured 24 cups of apple puree into a clean stainless steel saucepan...

 and added 6 cups of granulated sugar...

A tablespoon of cinnamon...

...and a teaspoon of ground cloves.

I stirred until the sugar dissolved, then brought the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. I reduced the heat and boiled gently, stirring frequently until the mixture thickened and held its shape.

Fruit butters are cooked until they thicken and begin to hold their shape on a spoon. To assess doneness, spoon a small quantity of cooked mixture onto a chilled plate. When liquid does not separate, creating a rim around the edge, and the mixture holds a buttery, spreadable shape, the butter is ready to ladle into jars and process.

While the apple butter was cooking, I prepared my pint canning jars by heating them in boiling water in a flat pan set on two stove eyes.

I heated my lids and rings in boiling water and kept both the lids and jars hot until I was ready to use them.

I ladled the hot apple butter into the hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.

I removed air bubbles and adjusted headspace as needed by added more hot apple butter. I removed the lids from the hot water using my handy magnetic wand gadget.

I tightened the lids onto the jars to fingertip tightness, placed the filled jars into my canner, ensuring they were completely covered with water. I brought them to a boil and processed them in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

I removed the jars from the canner using my jar lifter and placed them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool... and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar (LOVE that sound!)

My DH's favorite breakfast includes scrambled eggs, bacon, and raisin toast spread with apple butter... so for Sunday brunch I made a fresh hot loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and whipped up his favorite breakfast with the delicious, cinnamon-y apple butter... Deee-Lish!!! He loved it... and I love him!

Canning Granny©2011 All Rights Reserved


  1. Miam, Will cook a batch in the next few days.
    btw: great pics of the step by step process.

    PS: you don't need to heat the rings, only the lid.

  2. I know about the rings... but they keep the lids separated better, plus I like to make sure everything is hot and sterilized! But thanks! ~~Granny

  3. I notice you are using a flattop stove - we have one and all of our canning equipment has had warning labels NOT to use them with a flattop. Do you use a special canner?

  4. The new house we recently bought came with the flat top stove... I was hesitant at first and actually purchased a hot plate (single burner unit), but it did not heat well (maybe it was a cheap unit, I don't know)... so after researching and reading a lot and hearing that other folks did so successfully... I decided to try my canner (I use an All American brand 15 quart pressure canner) on the flat top and I've had no problems. I do take extra care when lifting it off the stove to cool. It's a chance I chose to take because I didn't have much option unless I bought a new stove, which is not in my budget right now ;-) ~~Granny

  5. Just read your version of apple butter. Though, like yours, all versions have you standing at the stove. I have always made mine in the oven. 13x9 pan (usually two of them) with the oven at 275. Stirring every 10-15 min. Running a spoon/spatula down the middle to gauge when its done. When it stands up like Moses at the red sea, its done. Then process as usual. I have found that the more you put in pan,the longer it takes. Therefore, keep it to 1/2 to 3/4 full.(need room to stir)

  6. Granny, I like your apple butter but I am not that much of what my mom would call a Suzie homemaker but I do can apple butter I found a easy one on growyourown.org. and my family loves it and you make it in the crock pot... But I love that you go step by step I just wish all the other ones did that sometimes.

  7. I'm glad I'm not the only one who uses cloves in their apple butter! We have tons of Amish in our area of Missouri and they always leave it out. As a result my apple butter flies out the door!

  8. Has anyone ever used Cinnomon oil in their apple butter. My granny used to and she would use red cinnomon candies called red hots. It gave it a very pretty color.

  9. How many pints does this recipe make?

  10. Being a beginner, I only have the water bath canning system. Can I use the water bath canning system for the Apple Butter recipe?

    1. Yes, apple butter may be processed in a boiling water bath. ~~Granny

  11. Thanks Granny, for the inspiration!

    I made some from an old apple tree that was loaded with lots of tart apples. The only thing I did different was I used water, and added nutmeg along with the cinnamon, and cloves. I do not have a pressure cooker, so placed it in a hot water bath for 15 minutes and the jars were sealed before I took it out. My DH wanted to eat it for dessert, It turned out better than perfect!!!

  12. For twelve pounds apples about how many medium sized apples would this be?

  13. I just finished my apple butter..What an accomplishment for me.My first time ever to can. I made spagetti sauce, salsa and just plain tomatoes. Thank you Canning Granny for the inspiration to give it a try and I love it. Tiring but so worth the effort, especially when my husband say yumm!!


  15. made this recipe today, all i can say is,THANK YOU, my hubby says it's the next best thing to..well....you know...lol. the kids love it to! :)


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