Apple season has arrived!  A few weeks ago on a long weekend trip up to Lake George, NY, Kyle and I made a side trip to an apple orchard for some apple picking.  It was my first time picking apples and I was thrilled to pieces to finally do so especially since I already had a few recipes in mind for these apples even before we filled up our bags. So this week, keep an eye out for a week filled with apple recipes.  I’ve made enough recipes with these apples to fill up posts for 5 days and I’ve been waiting for 3 weeks to share all of them with you.  I hope you enjoy them!

My original intention for many of these apples was to can applesauce but as I dug a little deeper into my Ball canning cookbook, I came across this apple butter recipe and it wasn’t one that I couldn’t pass up.  I’ve been a big fan of apple butter since I was a kid but I tend to have trouble finding a decent brand without preservatives that won’t break the bank like some I’ve found at local orchards.  So I decided it was time to make and can my own.

This recipe is incredible!  It’s just as I hoped it would be: full of autumn spice.  I made sure that I cooked the apple butter long enough (30-40 minutes) to ensure that it was thick enough making it apple butter and not just applesauce.  The recipe recommends that the butter should be able to hold it’s shape on a spoon.  In the photo below, you can see that I was able to get it thick enough to turn the spoon over without the butter slipping off.  Perfect!

If you’re thinking: Canning? No way. Too much work.  Well, to that I say, really, it’s not difficult!  It’s all about taking the canning process step-by-step and it’s virtually impossible to screw up provided you’ve followed the instructions.  But since this post isn’t necessarily about canning, I’m going to send you to the Ball website if you want to try canning for yourself.


Other apple recipes you’ll love:

Apple Turnovers

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake



Sweet Cider Apple Butter

source: Ball; Makes about 8 (8 oz) half pints


  •  6 lb apples, peeled, cored and quartered (about 8 to 10 medium)
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Tools and Equipment:

  • 8 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
  • Large stockpot with a wire rack for canning


  1. Combine apples and apple cider in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer apple mixture to a food mill or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, working in batches, and purée just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy. Measure 12 cups of apple purée.
  3. Combine apple purée, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a clean large stainless steel saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon.
  4. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
  5. Ladle hot butter into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
  6. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.


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Leave a Comment

  • thecookingnurse
    October 19, 2009 at 7:30 PM

    I love, love, love apple butter! This looks fantastic, thanks for posting!

  • Annie
    October 21, 2009 at 9:35 AM

    I definitely plan to delve further into canning next year. This apple butter looks great. I’m loving all your apple recipes lately – I say apple is the new pumpkin 🙂

  • Chris
    November 5, 2009 at 9:48 PM

    Yum! And I just happen to have a container of apple cider I’m not sure what to do with (I don’t really like to drink juice). Great post!

  • Drew Honeychurch
    September 7, 2021 at 9:43 AM

    Does the type of apple used have a significant influence on flavor?
    Are there recommendations?
    Thank you

    • Tara
      September 10, 2021 at 3:16 PM

      Sweetness varies by apple variety, not usually flavor itself. Gala apples are usually a great bet – and an easy variety to find – for apple butter.