This simple and delicious apple butter is filling my home with the scent of the holidays today while I’m piecing quilts for Christmas presents in my studio.


4 quarts chopped tart apples (Winesap, Roma)
2-3/4 cups sugar (reduce this — see notes below)
2-3/4 teaspoons cinnamon (see notes below about additional spices)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt

Peel and core apples, and cut into pieces.  Put them in a crock pot.
Combine the remaining ingredients.  Pour them over the apples in the crock pot.
Put the lid on the crock pot.  Cook on HIGH for 3 hours, stirring every hour.
Reduce temperature to LOW and cook 10-12 hours more until the mixture is thick and dark in color.
If you want a smooth texture, stir with a wire whisk, or beat with a hand mixer, or put the mixture into a food processor or blender.
Freeze or bottle.  If you bottle it, put in jars and boil approximately 30 minutes. Let the jars cool and make sure they seal.


Start the crock pot around 6 p.m. on HIGH.  Turn it down to low before bed and let it cook overnight.

Even with the tart apples, I use only 1-1/2 cups sugar.
With sweeter apples use even less: 1 cup is plenty.

Try adding 6 whole cardamom pods.

Puree the apple butter and then freeze it for a delicious sorbet.  Or, stir in some whipping cream and freeze it for an apple-butter ice cream-style treat.

Blend it with cream cheese for a decadent “shmeer” on bagels or toast or anything . . . .


Thanks to Suzanne Blair-Bowyer for this recipe.  She got it from Elizabeth Volkmer.