We started making our own Apple Butter a few years ago when I wanted to have control over the kind (and quantity) of sweeteners we were putting into our bodies. I love cooking with local raw honey so that is what I use most often. I love the flavor that maple syrup adds to Apple Butter. Since my son, Clint, brings apples to me in the fall I turn them into applesauce. I hope to share that recipe with you this fall when I make more. It is very easy to make and we like it so much better than the store-bought applesauce. Cooking it down into an apple butter is a great way to enjoy that taste of fall all year long.
My favorite way to cook it down is on my wood-burning fireplace. I shared this recipe making it on the stove because I know most people don't have access to a wood-burning fireplace. Doesn't that look homey for a cold day? And I wish I could share the aroma. It's wonderful!
Better Apple Butter
makes 1 1/2 pints
1 quart apple sauce
1 T. cinnamon or apple pie spice
2 T. pure maple syrup
Juice of 1/2 a lemon, optional
- Spread the applesauce in the bottom of a skillet. I use a 10.25 inch pre seasoned cast-iron skillet for this so there is plenty of space for evaporation. The more space there is for evaporation – the quicker your apple butter will be ready to enjoy.
- Turn your burner to the lowest setting. Stir in the cinnamon, syrup and honey. If you like it sweeter you may add more syrup and or honey as you choose. Also add the lemon juice if you are using it. I think it gives a fresher flavor to your Apple Butter.
- Continue to cook over low heat stirring every half hour until it is thick and the consistency that you like. I use homemade applesauce and it takes about 2 1/2 hours for it to cook down the way we like it. There is a lot of flexibility in this recipe. You can cook it at a higher temperature but it will need to be stirred more often and it will splatter. If you like it spicy, feel free to add more spices. I would suggest waiting until it cooks down before adding extra sweetener or spices.
- Enjoy immediately on a piece of your favorite toast. Store the rest in a glass jar in the refrigerator or freezer in the freezer for longer storage.