Excess of apples? Apple butter is BY FAR the easiest way to use them up!
To make simple, no sugar added apple butter, you just need a little bit of patience. That's seriously the hardest part of the whole process.
After letting this apple mixture simmer away and reduce down to a deep, caramelized butter, you'll have a paleo, gluten free, low carb spread that pairs perfectly with the warm flavors of winter.
Which apples are best for apple butter?
Honestly, the apples you use is entirely up to you! That said, I recommend using a few different varieties in one batch if you have them on hand.
Still, you won't be disappointed using just one variety of apple in this recipe, either.
For my apple butter, I like to mix tart and sweet varieties. For example, granny smith (tart) and smitten (sweet). That way, the resulting apple spread isn't too sweet for me. But, if you want super-sweet apple butter, use all sweet apples!
How to make homemade apple butter
This is crazy simple. y'all. Just add the ingredients to a pot over medium heat. Cover and leave it alone for 30 minutes.
Then uncover, mash it all up, and continue to cook. Stir every so often to ensure it doesn't stick.
Finally, after it's deepened in color and reduced to your liking, use an immersion blender to blend it all up!
I find an immersion blender easiest, because I don't have to transfer the apple mixture and I'm only getting one container dirty. However, you can definitely use a heat-safe blender to blend it up, too!
Depending on how fresh your apples are, the spread should keep for a few weeks in the fridge.
Do I have to peel apples for apple butter?
Nope! You always have the option to peel the apples, but I don't bother. It all gets blended up in the end anyway!
And after all, much of the nutrition in an apple is in its peel. Might as well go for max micronutrients!
How to use apple butter
- Spread on toast, pancakes, waffles
- Spread on quick breads, like pumpkin banana bread or zucchini banana bread
- Stir into oatmeal, yogurt, porridge, and n'oatmeal
- Add to a charcuterie board (I'm a sucker for savory + sweet!)
- Eat by the spoonful (so dang good!)
Equipment for this recipe
You won't need much for this stovetop project! Just a good pot, a knife, an apple slicer to make life easier, and mason jars to store it in.
More dip and spread recipesPrint
Homemade apple butter is super simple - and with no added sugar! It makes a wonderful, simple gift during the holidays.
- 3 pounds apples (about 12 medium)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup water
- Core, peel, and chop the apples. Add the apples, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, lemon juice, and water to a large pot and stir to evenly distribute the spices. Cover and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, mash the apples as much as possible. Remove the lid and continue cooking for an additional hour, stirring every 15 minutes. If, after an hour, the apple butter isn’t as thick as you’d like, continue cooking for 15 minutes at a time, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent the apples from sticking and burning on the bottom.
- Puree the apple butter using an immersion blender, high-powered blender, or food processor.
- When cool, pour the apple butter into jars and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Freeze for up to a month.
Do you need to peel the apples? Nope! I don't bother. It all gets blended up anyway - and most of the nutrition in an apple is in its peel!
Keywords: apple butter, stovetop, homemade, paleo, whole30