Apple butter spread – without butter

The first time I heard about the Apple Butter from a friend I kindly wrinkled my nose thinking…well, bread and butter is heavenly good but I do not feel like offering it to the kids every single morning at breakfast. It might be too much.

Still, she kept saying how insanely good the Apple Butter was so that I had to check the recipe. And…with my great surprise and amusement I discovered that the Apple Butter is as creamy and as delicious as butter but doesn’t have a single teaspoon of butter in it. Amazing, isn’t it?

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The original recipe of the Apple Butter is made of apples (of course, at least one ingredient from the name!), sugar, apple cider vinegar and spices. The Butter part of the name comes from the creamy thickness of the final spread.

As you can guess, I had to try the recipe and I came up with my personal “BuonaPappa” variation: no spices (more kid friendly), less than half of the sugar quantity and still incredibly good.

My little Alex, my mom (and myself) are literally addicted to it. We can go through a jar in two days!!

It’s a very delicate spread: sweet with a light tart touch. VERY Toddler friendly 😉 As we are using sugar (not a lot, but we are still using it) I would not recommend the Apple Butter for babies younger than 12 months.

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Here you are the quantities that you will need for 11 mason jars (8 oz.):

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After few tries I came to the decision that the best variety of apples to use for the Apple Butter is Pink Lady: sweet and delicately tart at the same time.

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And that’s how you prepare the Apple Butter:

  • Do not peel the apples, just wash and core them. Cut in big pieces.

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  • Place the apples in a large pot and add all the other ingredients: apple cider vinegar, water, cane sugar, lemon. Stir. I suggest to peel the lemon peel with a potato peeler. It’s easier and you just peel the yellow skin, not the white skin that can be a bit bitter.

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  • Stir. Turn the heat on at medium and cover with a lid. Let it cook for 30 minutes covered.

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  • Remove the lid, reduce the heat at low or the minimum possible, and let the apples simmer for 1 1/2 hour. Stir occasionally.

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  • The slow cooking will gently caramelize the sugar naturally contained in the apples turning them brown. Turn the heat off and using an immersion blender puree’ the apple mix obtaining a smooth and thick cream.

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  • Now you have two options: you can divide the Apple Butter in small air tight containers and freeze them up to 2 months or you can store them in mason jars. I found a fast and easy way to do it. Wash your mason jars. Fill them for 3/4 with water. Place them in the microwave and microwave for 5/6 minutes. You want the water to start bubbling. That’s a super easy way to sterilize them.

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  • Using a kitchen rag (they are hot, be careful!!) remove the water from the mason jar and fill it for 3/4 with the hot Apple Butter. It’s important that the Apple Butter is still very hot. Close the mason jar with a new lid (NEVER re-use the lids) and flip the jar so that the heat of the Apple Butter will sterilize the jar. Let it cool down completely and store wherever you like at room temperature! The mason jars will be good for up to 6 months.

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Did you make this recipe? Share the love, tag @buonapappa on Instagram and hashtag it #buonapappa I would love to see your creations!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Hello, I’d like to know if I can use regular granulated sugar instead of cane sugar.

    • User Avatar
      Barbara Lamperti
      September 29, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      Hi! I prefer using organic cane sugar instead of regular granulated sugar as it is less processed, but you can use regular sugar for the apple butter too. Ciao! b

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