Unsweetened Apple Butter

A good friend has invited us over several times in the last month to help her harvest apples from the tree in her yard. Each visit, she sent us home with at least 10 lbs of apples. We all love apples, but after a couple of weeks my kids got a little tired of plain apples–even organic, fresh-from-the-tree fruit! I’m not a huge fan of applesauce, but I thought I’d try my hand at apple butter. I found an online tutorial at The Art of Homemaking, but it is sadly lacking in specifics, like how many apples, how much water, and exactly how long “many, many hours” might be. So, I started playing around on my own and found a recipe that works so well, my kids go at it with a spoon. My husband says it’s “tart” and an old friend to whom I’d gifted a jar described it as “almost savory,” but I just call it “delicious.”

unsweetened apple butterUnsweetened Apple Butter

3½ qt apples, cored and chopped (1.7 kg)
1 c water
1 T cinnamon
1 t nutmeg

  1. Cook over low heat in a covered pot, stirring occasionally until apples have begun to break down (approx. 30-45 min)
  2. Uncover and continue simmering on low, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick enough to stick to the spoon when turned upside down (approx. 1-2 hrs)
  3. Press through a sieve to remove skins
  4. Can for storage or keep in refrigerator

Yield: 3¼ c apple butter

Notes:

  • The apples weigh about 5 lbs whole
  • If you prefer your apple butter a bit sweeter, you can substitute apple juice for the water

I’ve enjoyed this on muffins and added to a ham wrap. To what would you most like to add a little apple flavor?

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