To Apple Jam or To Apple Butter?

I got a slight addiction to jamming.  I love the experimentation, the flavours and the canning process.  As I was googling recipes to try I discovered something called Apple Butter.  What is apple butter?? Its apples cooked so long that it becomes the consistency of butter.  This recipe is great when you have lots of apples and don’t know what to do with them.  Apple butter requires lots of apples and the best season for this is fall.  My grandma’s backyard has tons of apples (some having worms and some with black spots).  (Yes, we should be trimming our apple trees to prevent this).  Because its hard for us to use the apples without cutting out the yucky stuff, we just never do anything with it.  Until I discovered apple butter!!

I didn’t follow an exact recipe when making this apple butter.  A lot of recipes vary with the amount of time needed to cook down the apples but I decided to go all out and make the apple butter that would need 9-11 hours of cooking.  This, I found out, would have been a lot easier if I had a slow cooker.


I started the apple butter by cutting the apples and combining all the ingredients.  I also left the peels on the apples.  It looked like a lot of apples to start with and I was nervous about how much apple butter I would actually make but in the end there wasn’t as much as I thought.  The first hour of cooking, I noticed the apples needed more liquids.  So I added some water and apple juice to help it cook.


After a couple of hours of cooking, I still needed to add more liquids.  I didn’t want the apples to burn but I wanted them to cook properly.  During the middle the cooking process, I blended the apples to make a smoother sauce.


After reducing the apple sauce, the apples started turning a nice brown colour and becoming really thick.  I stopped cooking the apple butter after 6 hours.   The apple butter at this point was thick and I was worried about it burning.   I let the jam cool slightly as I got the jars sterilized and ready for the apple butter.


At first I wasn’t sold with the apple butter.  It wasn’t till I used it for toast and bagels that I really enjoyed the buttery apple consistency and that was when I fell in love with apple butter.


5 1/2 pounds apples – peeled, cored and
finely chopped
4 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples in the slow cooker and mix well.
2. Cover and cook on high 1 hour.
3. Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
4. Uncover and continue cooking on low 1 hour. Stir with a whisk, if desired, to increase smoothness.
5. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate or freeze.

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