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Apple Butter

(recipe, Jennifer Savage)


This recipe works well with non-commercial apples, like the ones from your neighbor’s tree.


  1. 10 lb. apples
  2. 2 to 3½ cups honey
  3. 4 tsp. cinnamon (or more to taste)
  4. ½ tsp. cloves (or more to taste)


  1. Wash apples and remove stems, but do not peel or core. Cut apples into small pieces and add to stockpot. Cover with water and let simmer until apples are soft.
  2. Let apples cool, then press them through a food mill. You should have about 4 quarts of pulp, free of core material and seeds. (I sometimes run the leftover core and seed material through the mill again to yield more pulp.)
  3. Combine apple pulp with honey and spices in a large stockpot. Cook slowly on low heat until a heaping spoonful is a thick, rounded mound. (This may take several hours.) Stir to prevent sticking; this dish can burn easily, so make sure to check it often. If butter is too thick, add water or apple juice.
  4. Prepare 10 pint-sized canning jars (including lids and bands) by washing them in hot, soapy water. Rinse and dry. Fill water-bath canner (or large stockpot) with water to a height that will cover the filled jars with about a quarter-inch of water. Set water to boil.
  5. When butter is ready and water is boiling in the canner or pot, ladle hot sauce into prepared jars, leaving a quarter-inch of head space between the top of the butter and the top of the jar. Wipe clean the rim on top of the jar to allow for a tight seal. Place thin metal lids onto jars; tighten metal bands around top of jars for a snug (not tight) fit.
  6. Place jars in rack of water-bath canner (or stockpot) and lower into boiling water. Put lid on canner (or pot) and start a timer. Simmer 10 minutes for pint-sized jars.
  7. Remove jars from water and let cool on a towel. The jars will be very hot. As jars seal, you’ll hear a popping sound.


Read Jennifer Savage's feature about home canning.