Homemade Apple Butter Recipe

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3 quarts or 6 pints SERVINGS


  • 10 to 12 pounds apples, washed and quartered
  • Apple cider
  • 9 cups sugar
  • Juice and grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice


  • Place apples in a large stockpot. Add just enough apple cider to keep the apples from sticking while cooking. Cook until soft and mushy. Remove and cool slightly.
  • Put mixture through a sieve. (You should have about 18 cups of purée.)
  • In a large, ovenproof casserole dish or roasting pan, combine purée with remaining ingredients, mixing well. Spread mixture evenly, pressing into corners and smoothing top.
  • Place dish in a cold oven and turn oven to 300 F. Bake until mixture is thick, stirring every 30 minutes to 1 hour for the first few hours, and then more often as the apple butter thickens. To test doneness, place a small amount of apple butter on a plate. When no rim of liquid separates from edges of the butter, it’s done.
  • Immediately pour apple butter into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal with lids and bands.
  • Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Want more home-canning recipes?  Read Preserving and Canning Recipes for Garden Produce to get the most out of your harvest this year.