Applesauce and Apple Butter


Finally getting around to blogging about apple stuff.  We’ve had a lot of apples hanging around the house since we’ve been apple picking twice this season.  Finally, last weekend, I got around to doing something with them.

We had picked up a brand new apple peeler/slicer/corer the week before.  Have you seen these things before?



Previously, I’d only see these things at houses owned by people old enough to be my grandma.  And the gizmos were that old too, because the blades were dull and it was just easier to peel by hand. But not this new one! It sliced and diced and I totally understood why they are so awesome!



I ended up with a huge batch of apples and canned applesauce and butter with them.  Both were super easy, just took some time on the stove.


Everyone knows how to make applesauce, right? How about apple butter?  I never assume because until last year *I* had no idea. I’d never even heard of apple butter. 🙂

Just in case…

Canned Applesauce


  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 pounds of apples per quart
  • Water
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Cinnamon and/or other spices(optional)

Wash apples and pat dry.  Core, peel and slice apples.  Cook util soft in a large covered saucepot with enough water to keep from sticking.

You can purree to a pulp in a food processor or mill, but I just let it cook down until chunky.  If pureeing, just return to the pot afterwards and add sugar and/or cinammon to taste. Bring applesauce to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking, and keep at a boil while filling jars.  Leave 1/2 in. headspace in jars.  Process pints and quarts 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Apple Butter

Apple butter is a concentrated spread of apples.  Tomato sauce is to applesauce like tomato PASTE is to apple butter.  Basically, you just cook down the apples a lot.  The sugar in the apples (and any added sugar) caramelizes, turning the butter a deep brown.  You can spread it on anything you like to eat it with, AND it’s what you use to make fruit leather with.  Not that you can’t make it with other fruits, but it’s plentiful and cheap enough. I wouldn’t use my precious cherries to make fruit leather. 🙂

  • 4 lbs apples (per 3 pints of apple butter)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cloves

Wash apples and pat dry.  Core, peel and slice apples. Combine apples and 2 cups water in a large saucepot. Simmer until apples are soft.  Once again, you can puree the apples in a food processor or food mill, but I just let them cook till they got soft and mushy and broke apart.  Just make sure you don’t liquefy it.  Measure out 2 quarts of apple pulp.

Combine the pulp, sugar and spices in a pot and cook it down until it’s thick enough to round up on a spoon. As it starts to thicken, stir often, so it doesn’t stick.  Ladle the hot butter into jars, leaving 1/4 in. headspace.  Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

We still have half our apples left and here’s what I made (plus one pint of applesauce that was camera shy).  I want to can apples to make apple pie filling this weekend.  They’re starting to get soft because we kept them upstairs instead of our downstairs storage closet where it’s nice and cool.  Gotta do something with them soon!



9 Responses

  1. I’ve never had apple butter, but I really want to try it! How long did it you let it simmer?

    • Allison, I really don’t recall! I kinda just let it sit there, doing other things and coming back to stir every so often. I want to say 1-2 hours.

  2. I love to make apple sauce. In fact now I really want to make some this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Last year, when we went to an apple festival, I saw those slicer/peeler/corer things and thought it was so lame. I wondered who would pay that much for such a tool. Then I tried to turn a huge bag of apples into applesauce and wished I had spent the money! When we went back to the orchard for more apples, you better believe I sprung for one of those magic appliances! It was worth it.

    So, I’m thinking about trying to do some light canning. I live in an apartment with very little extra space, especially in the kitchen. Do you think this is possible given my little space? What would be the best way to get started or what is the best resource you would recommend? I have a lot of apples so that’s what I was thinking of starting with – apple pie filling and applesauce – but my mom grows tomatoes so I was thinking that by next year I would like to be able to can tomatoes as well since we are constantly using store-bought canned tomatoes.

    • I definitely think this is possible!! Small batch canning is one of the easiest things to do in an apartment.

      The best resource I have found this far (besides Google, but if you want something more reliable :))is the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. Buy it new or used, it doesn’t matter! I found this in my local grocery store a few years ago, but I think it’s because I live in a fairly agricultural area – I’m not sure NYC would carry it! You can find it on Amazon easily though. It has almost every recipe for canning that you would want.

      Then you need some canning supplies, tongs, jar lifter, canning funnel (wider than a regular funnel), lid lifter, etc.

      You need a water bath canner – which can be a big stock pot that holds at least 12 quarts of water. If you already make big pots of sauce or food, you probably have this already.

      Then buy some canning jars, again eiher in the store (my grocery store and my Walmart carry them, but you can also find them on Amazon, it’s just a little more expensive) and you have everything you need except for the stuff your canning.

      You’ve given me a great idea, maybe I should put together a quick how-to page for the real basics of canning!

      Let me know if you try canning applesauce! I think that’s a great way to start because it’s super easy – no pectin is needed, no gelling – just apples, sugar and spices.

  4. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. I want to see, because I am demanding like that, you make as local an apple pie as possible. mmmmpie

    Oh if you have any left overs you could make dried apples for a healthy snack on the go.

    • Oh hell yeah!!

      You will see not only apple pie, but local pumpkin pie, from scratch as well. 🙂

      Although…I don’t know how good an apple pie with honey instead of regular sugar is. Hmph…Must contemplate that.

  5. […] first thing I did was make a big pot of applesauce up (based on my applesauce recipe I posted  last week) and let it boil down a LITTLE bit, but not turn into apple […]

  6. My mom has an apple peeler corer like that. There is something about eating apples like a slinky that makes me smile endlessly.

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