Oakridge 2017-18 GIF
Oakridge 2017-18 GIF

Apple Butter

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January 1 - December 31

Harvest Period

N/A - N/A

Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce, produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider until the natural sugars caramelize and turn the butter a deep brown colour. The concentration of sugar gives apple butter a much longer shelf life than applesauce, and for this reason it was popular amongst the early pioneers and later into the 20th century. Despite its name, there is no dairy butter in this product the term simply refers to the thick, soft consistency of apple butter and its common use as a spread on bread and crackers. By cooking apple butter even further, another product fruit leather is created.


Apple butter should be refrigerated after opening & used within six months.

Nutritional Information 

When made only with apples and cider (and no added sugar), apple butter is a natural, wholesome food.

1 tbsp (15mL) of apple butter provides about 48 calories, 0g fat, and 11g naturally occurring sugar from the apples.

How To Use

A classic way of eating apple butter is to spread it on toast, muffins, tea biscuits, pancakes the possibilities are endless!  Like applesauce, apple butter is a natural accompaniment to pork chops, roasts, or sausage.  Add some apple butter to plain yogurt or cottage cheese as a way of enhancing their flavours.


How To Make

Although apple butter takes time to make (the sauce is slow cooked for at least an hour), the upfront part is easy. You do not have to peel or core the apples. The pectin for firming up the resulting product resides mostly in the cores and there is a lot of flavour in the apple peels. After the first cooking, these parts get discarded when the pulp is run through a food mill or sieve. 

Alternately, you can quarter and core the apples but leave the peel on.  Once the butter has cooled, it can be processed in a blender, causing the peels to dissolve.

10 crisp apples, such as Spartans, Macs or Granny Smiths, cored and cut into quarters

2 tbsp brown sugar (optional)

1/2 cup of apple cider or juice

1/4 tsp each of nutmeg, cloves, allspice and cardamom

1 tsp vanilla extract


Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until apples break down and become very soft. At this point, you have made apple sauce. Continue to reduce until 80% of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is very thick and dark brown.  Puree with an immersion blender, a standard blender or in a food processor.