Fall is the perfect season to make a delicious batch of quick and easy homemade apple butter! When leaves on the trees begin to change color, and the morning air feels crisp and clean, it’s our family’s signal to take a road trip to Apple Hill. In Northern California it’s where orchards and wineries are found in clusters of rolling hills and windy roads lined with gorgeous trees and lush greenery. After a relaxing day of wine tasting and apple picking, it’s fun to bring home a large wooden crate filled to the rim with delicious ripe apples. I use them to make super quick apple pie filling, scrumptious apple strudel, and fabulous homemade apple butter.
The wonderful thing about making homemade apple butter is that you get to choose which types of apples to use. I’ve found that the best apple butter has a combination of apples that are tart and sweet. My favorites are tart Granny Smith apples and sweet Fuji apples. For this recipe I used four of each type of apple.
Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make homemade apple butter from scratch: your choice of apples, raw unfiltered apple juice, granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract (my favorite is pure Mexican vanilla), ground cloves, nutmeg, and salt. For a fun variation, you can add 3 tablespoons of caramel for each 1/2 cup of homemade apple butter to create Caramel Apple Butter. And if you love butterscotch, then you can use that instead of the caramel.
Start by peeling, coring and slicing the apples. Drizzle the lemon juice on top of the apple slices. Briefly toss the apples to distribute the lemon juice. Add the apples and the unfiltered apple juice to a medium-large heavy-duty pan. I use my 4-quart Staub Universal Pan for making my homemade apple butter, but you can use a cast iron Dutch Oven or whatever type of pan you already own.
While stirring, bring the apples and juice to a light boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium, and allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to break up the apples. You’ll notice that the apples are already beginning to soften up.
Add in the granulated sugar, light-brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Smash the apples with a potato masher. Lower the heat to medium/low, cover the pan with a lid, and allow the mixture to continue to simmer for 30-35 minutes or until the homemade apple butter reaches a soft and tender consistency. During this time, frequently lift the lid of the pan (with a pot holder) and stir to prevent burning.
Remove the pan from the stovetop burner. Stir the mixture to release some heat. Allow it to cool down in the pan. Transfer the homemade apple butter to a glass jar with lid.
Ahhh…the delicious aroma that fills your home when making this apple recipe is simply fabulous! It’s like fall with its festive vibe has breezed right into your kitchen to help you celebrate the season! Once your apple butter has fully cooled it’s ready to enjoy.
I divided my apple butter into two glass jars. In one jar I added a few tablespoons of quick and easy homemade salted caramel. Oooo boy, does this taste scrumptious!
I love spreading homemade apple butter across warm, freshly-made baking powder biscuits that have already been slathered in butter. It’s also super yummy when spread on a scone, toast or English muffin. During the holidays this delicious homemade treat is a wonderful gift idea for friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.
Who will you share your jar of apple butter with? I shared mine with my husband, parents, and a family friend. Everyone agreed – this is the best homemade apple butter recipe they’ve ever tasted!
HOMEMADE APPLE BUTTER > SHOP THIS POST
For making this yummy homemade apple butter recipe I used my grenadine-colored Staub Universal Pan. It’s one of the best decisions I made when selecting high-quality, long-lasting cookware. I actually have two of these. My second one is a beautiful blue.
Homemade Apple Butter
- 8 medium apples, peeled cored and sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup raw unfiltered apple juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light-brown sugar
- 1 + 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
OPTIONAL TWIST - SALTED CARAMEL APPLE BUTTER
3 tablespoons salted caramel sauce (homemade or from a jar) for every 1/2 cup of apple butter
- Select a heavy-duty, medium-large pan with a lid.
- Add the apple slices to the pan and sprinkle the apples with lemon juice. With a spatula or wooden spoon, toss the apples to distribute the lemon juice. Add the unfiltered apple juice.
- Over medium/high heat, bring the apples and liquid to a light boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the granulated sugar, light-brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Stir until fully incorporated. Use a potato masher to break up the apples and mash the mixture.
- Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat to medium/low. Allow the apple butter to simmer for 30-35 minutes until the consistency is soft and tender. During this time, frequently remove the lid with a pot holder and stir the mixture so it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the apple butter is done, remove the pan from the burner, stir the mixture so heat can escape, and allow it to begin cooling. Transfer the apple butter to a glass jar. Once it's fully cooled it's ready to enjoy! Refrigerate unused apple butter for two weeks in a sealed jar or container.
Courses Breakfast, Tea Time, Brunch, Lunch, Dessert
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HOMEMADE APPLE BUTTER > YOUR THOUGHTS
What do you think about this homemade apple butter recipe? Do you love how simple and easy it is to make? What are your favorite fall recipes? Do you have an apple recipe to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!