Fall Apple Butter Recipe

By Demelza Champagne

Once Autumn hits, I begin to dream of apples; apples alongside almonds and a fancy cheese, maybe a caramel apple for dessert or a snack. 

And apple butter, of course. This fall I got a serious craving for apple butter. And even though apple butter is easy enough to find at the store, the thought of buying it didn’t sound appealing. I wanted to make it myself. 

There are so many advantages to DIY apple butter: it’s easy to make, it’s delicious, it’s a good way to use up apples beyond their prime (and a good reason to buy some half price “ugly” produce), and it makes a fun homemade gift. I’ve posted a recipe below, but there are several ways to make it, and if you’re so inclined, I recommend looking through other recipes for ideas. And don’t limit yourself to apples; it can also be made with pears and quinces. The spices can be changed to suit your tastes. It can also be made in a crock pot, which requires a longer cooking period, but is much less hands-on. 

As far as eating it, I love it on buttered toast, and as the accessory to a strong cheddar in a grilled cheese sandwich. 

Apple Butter recipe

5-6 lbs of apples, cored & peeled
1/4 c. of bourbon 
3 cups of water 
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar 
1 cinnamon stick 
1/2 teaspoon cardamom 
2 tablespoons of lemon juice 
1/3 c. maple syrup 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 


Place apples, water, bourbon, apple cider vinegar, water, and the cinnamon stick in a large, heavy bottomed pot and bring to boil. Let the concoction simmer for 45 minutes, until the apples are very soft. 

Take out the cinnamon stick and put aside. Blend the softened apples and their juices with a blender, or alternatively, put through a food mill. 

Put the blended apples back on the stove with the cinnamon stick. Add the cardamom, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Cover and simmer on low for 2 to 3 hours, occasionally checking on it, and occasionally stirring. Once the apple butter has turned into a caramel color it is done. Mix in the vanilla extract and can it. 

This will keep in the refrigerator for 1 month, and can be frozen for 6 months. 

(This makes about 40 oz of apple butter)