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Stovetop Apple Butter

The taste of homemade apple butter is worth the time it takes to make this delectable spread. My dad's family made theirs in the backyard in a big copper kettle over a fire of burning hedge wood. It took 6 bushels of apples, 60 lbs. of sugar, four cinnamon sticks, a lemon slice and about 9 hours of constant stirring to make 18 gal. of apple butter—about a year's supply! —Rev. Willis Piepenbrink, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 8 hours
  • Makes
    4 cups


  • 6 to 7 pounds tart apples, unpeeled and quartered
  • 3 cups water
  • 3-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)


  • In a 6- to 8-qt. heavy kettle, bring apples and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until apples are tender. Press cooked apples through a colander or food mill. Discard peels.
  • Return pureed apples to the kettle. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the consistency is very thick and the color is dark brown, about 8 hours. Freeze in containers.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 135 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, 35g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 2g fiber), 0 protein.

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  • nightskystar
    Oct 26, 2013

    This was my first time tasting or trying apple butter. EXCELLENT recipe..easy, and everyone is RAVING about it!! I canned it..processed in boiling water bath for 15 mins per Ball canning direction. Made 8 half pints.

  • teenamombear
    Sep 25, 2013

    I was very successful with this recipe. We get a lot of bruised apples and I like the idea of just cutting away the bruised sections and boiling down the apples without having to peel them. I just added a little nutmeg because we like the flavor. It's tasty and easy to make with very little waste.