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Apple Butter - Food Gypsy

Simple Apple Butter

Apple butter is one of those condiments we love to have in the fridge.  So versatile and easy, I usually boil off a big batch in the fall during apple season but this week I found myself craving Montreal Smoked meat and apple mustard.

Apple Butter Application: Apple Mustard

Made with equal parts grainy and smooth Dijon and apple butter, Apple Mustard gives that a hint of sweetness and a touch of tangy spice that sets off the smokey, spiced meat so well.   (Check out our Montreal Smoked Meat Deli Sliders next time you’re looking for fun party food.)

Try Apple Butter solo with a soft rind cheese, slather it on a pork roast with rosemary as it roasts, or go simple and break out the healthy bread for an apple-buttery-breakfast.

Apple Butter Ingredients, Food Gypsy Apple Butter, Equipment - Food Gypsy

Lots of Apples, A Little Apple Butter

This is a small batch recipe using about 5 apples, it makes about 2 cups, in total. My favourite cooking apple is Golden Delicious because they hold well, but this is a recipe where we want to break the apple down so Cortland, Macintoch or old-fashioned Transparent Apples would also do well here.

Feel free to multiply this recipe to suit your needs but before you get going there are a few things you’ll need.

Large stainless steel or stainless steel lined heavy-bottomed pot.
A food mill, chinois or strong sieve and a couple 8 ounce, canning jars.

Simple method: Cut, cook, pulp & then cook again.  Voila.  Simple Apple Butter.

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Apple Butter - Food Gypsy

Simple Apple Butter

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  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Units Scale
  • 2 lbs of good cooking apples
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 23 cups water
  • Sugar (about 2 cups, see method)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon


1. Cut apples into medium-sized chunks, without peeling or coring. Natural pectin from the apple the core and peel will thicken the apple butter.
2. Place apple pieces in a large pot, add vinegar and just enough water to cover water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until apples are soft and break up easily about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Pour cooked, hot apple into a chinois (or food mill) and force pulp from the chinois into a bowl below with a pastel or the back of a small ladle. Measure the resulting puree back into the original pot, add a 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir to dissolve sugar then add a pinch of salt, plus cinnamon, cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice.
4. Cook, uncovered on low heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning. Reduce pulp until thick and smooth – 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Cooled apple butter should cling to a plate, and hot apple butter should resemble a very thick apple sauce.
5. While the mixture is cooking, sterilize your jar/jars. A couple of shortcuts for this a) run them through the short cycle of your dishwasher or b) give your clean jar/jars a rinse and place them in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes.
6. When your apple butter is at a smooth, jammy consistency pour into hot, sterilized jar(s) and seal. Be sure to allow about a 1/4-inch of space between the preserve and the top of the jar.


If you plan to store the apple butter outside of a refrigerator, follow proper canning procedures. Including a 10-minute hot water bath for your jars, and sterilizing your lids and making sure you have a perfect seal.  I invert finished jars to let the forces of gravity help the seal along.  Works like a charm.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: American



Cori Horton

Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.

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