Cook in the Moment: Apple Butter

Apple Butter on a Fall Day in Colorado (c)2012 La Domestique

Thick and spreadable, apple butter is named for its texture, and contains no dairy. I’ve been doing a fair bit of preserving at home lately, but cooking apples down into a dark, caramelized puree is my absolute fall favorite. Every year I make a batch to mark the season, and thoroughly enjoy seeking out a new variety to try at the local farmer’s market. This year, after tasting through each apple at the market, I stumbled upon a new favorite: Alkmene. An old German apple, this variety stood out amongst the rest because of its tart, robustly apple flavor paired with dense and juicy flesh. I brought home a big bag of apples and pulled out one of my favorite preserving cookbooks, Canning for a New Generation, by Liana Krissoff. A tattered post-it marked the recipe for Spiced Apple Butter. This may be the easiest preserving ever, because the apples are stewed in a crockpot for 9-12 hours before the puree is ladled into sterilized jars and processed in a hot water bath. Cooking jam on the stovetop is much a quicker and more hectic process, and it’s nice to have a whole day while the preserve bubbles away in the slow-cooker to prepare for filling and processing the jars. As the fruit simmers, a festive aroma of baking spices fills the house. Cinnamon, clove, and allspice concentrate in flavor as the apples turn from cream-colored to dark amber, and the puree becomes thick and velvety.

Apple Butter and Homemade Irish Wheat Soda Bread on a Fall Day in Colorado (c)2012 La Domestique

Warm apple butter is a treat spread over hearty wheat toast, stirred into porridge, or as a filling for  pocket pie. Have you got a favorite recipe for apple butter? Share your experience in the comments section. Click Here.

 

22 Comments

  1. Apple butter is one of my favorite Fall treats, especially on homemade bread. There really is nothing better. Beautiful pictures, as usual :)

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jocelyn. I agree!

      Reply
  2. I love this beautiful fall scene, Jess! I almost used some fall leaves in my pictures this weekend, too, ha :) Apple butter is just a lovely, fall delight!

    Reply
    • I couldn’t resist the leaves, Nicole! Thanks for popping by.

      Reply
  3. I made apple butter in the crock pot this year, and there’s no way I’ll go back to the stove top method. So easy and I love how I could work outside and catch up around the house rather than sit and babysit it. My favourite way to eat apple butter is on plain yogurt and spread on warm whole wheat biscuits. So delicious!

    Reply
    • Renee,
      So true! Love the idea of apple butter, yogurt, and biscuits!

      Reply
  4. Oh – that cookbook is one of my favorites as well! Looks like you are having some lovely weather.

    Reply
    • Ginger,
      We have! I hope it’s been nice where you are.

      Reply
  5. Love apple butter. I have been using it as a wet ingredient in baking lately and I like the flavor that it gives baked goods. I haven’t seen that variety of apple but it will be fun if I do spot it!

    Reply
    • Sarah,
      I’m so glad you brought that up! Apple butter is great as a moistening ingredient in baking!

      Reply
  6. Oh yum! Jess this sounds great. With the cold weather here to say I’ve swapped out my morning yogurt for a bowl of oatmeal. I’ve been adding bananas and coconut, but now I need to try apple butter with a bit of extra cinnamon, it sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Talley. I love the change in breakfast routine when the weather turns cool.

      Reply
  7. Swoon. Apple butter is my all-time favorite. I’ve been wanting to make it at home for years- and the idea of letting it quietly simmer and cook down all day long sounds pretty appealing. Thanks for the idea!

    Reply
    • Shelby,
      You’ve got to try it- so simple and good!

      Reply
  8. Apple butter (and anything pumpkin!) is one of my favorite things about fall. And I absolutely the love way apples smell as they cook. Can’t wait to try this.

    Reply
    • Thanks for popping by, Kathryn. You’ve just reminded me I’ve got to make pumpkin butter!

      Reply
  9. I have never made apple butter, and I guess not ever eaten it..It is surprising what is popular in one part of the world can be almost unknown in the other…Feel like tasting that!

    Reply
    • Cristina,

      You would love it, and apple butter could make an interesting cake filling. It’s just thickened fruit like the fig or quince spreads that are more popular in Europe.

      Reply
  10. I love the idea of this- nothing more comforting than the smell of slow cooking apples coming from the stove.

    Reply
    • So true, Tori!

      Reply
  11. Yum! I have never heard of apple butter, maybe it is an American thing? One thing I do know, I’m trying it this week!
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Anna,
      You’re going to love it! I’m not sure about the roots of apple butter, but there are similar traditional recipes using other fruits like fig in European countries. Cheers!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>