Amish Apple Butter
Amish apple butter is a thick and smooth spread made from cooked apples, sugar, and spices. It is a traditional recipe that has been passed down for generations among the Amish community.
To make Amish apple butter, apples are first peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces. They are then cooked down until they are soft and tender. The cooked apples are then blended until they form a smooth puree, namely applesauce.
Sugar and spices are added to the puree, and the mixture is cooked or baked for several hours until it thickens and darkens in color. The cooking process allows the sugars in the apples to caramelize and deepen the flavor of the butter.
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Oven Apple Butter from Applesauce
As previously mentioned in another post, my family consumed lots and lots of applesauce. Therefore, every autumn, the women in our family spent hours cutting and cooking numerous bushels of apples to transform them into applesauce. (We used a Victoria strainer to make applesauce.) It was a big job, and one we were relieved to have finished for another year.
And during the applesauce-making process, my mom would set some aside to create apple butter. It was like getting two birds with one stone (as the saying goes), to also can apple butter while we were cutting apples anyway.
I know that some families prefer the traditional method of cooking apples and making the butter in a large crock over an open flame. And others like to slow-cook their apple butter in a crock pot.
But we always made apple butter from applesauce and baked it in the oven.
So, there are numerous methods of making apple butter that works. And it doesn't really matter which method you use. The goal is to cook it for several hours to allow the moisture in the apples to evaporate, which thickens the mixture into a spreadable consistency. And it helps to intensify the flavors.
In this post, I am sharing my Amish mom's apple butter recipe. And it's up to you if you want to use fresh apples and turn them into a sauce. Or if you want to take the easy route and open a couple of cans of applesauce to turn it into apple butter. Either way will work.
Small Batch Apple Butter
My mom's apple butter recipe was for 16 cups of applesauce. However, I divided it in half to make a smaller batch. And if it's still too much for you, you can easily divide the recipe in half again.
This recipe for homemade Amish apple butter uses only cinnamon for spices. And it is delicious! However, I also love it with a bit more spices.
And this is where you can get creative and create a flavor profile that you will love. However, when adding more spices, it's important to be cautious and begin with smaller amounts as they can easily overpower the other flavors and ruin the taste. While cinnamon and cloves are typical additions, nutmeg and allspice are also popular choices.
Personally, I added 1/4 tsp each of cloves and allspice. But I recommend starting with 1/8 tsp of the spices you prefer and gradually increasing until you achieve your desired flavor.
Homemade apple butter doesn't have a very long shelf life, or should I say "refrigerator life". It will only be good in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks to a month.
And if you're like me, you won't use a couple of quarts of apple butter in a month. So how can we preserve it to make it last longer?
My mom always made a big batch and canned it. And if you choose to can it, you will need to water bath the jars of hot apple butter for about 15 - 20 minutes. (And if you're not familiar with water bath canning, you will need to educate yourself first.)
Just make sure to leave a bit of space at the top of the jars since it will expand as it freezes. And whenever you want some apple butter, thaw a container in the refrigerator overnight. It will taste as fresh as the day you made it.
How Long Is Apple Butter Good For?
As stated, I wouldn't plan on apple butter lasting for more than a month in the refrigerator after the seal has been broken.
However, if you store it in airtight containers in the freezer, it can last for up to a year. Alternatively, if you can it in jars with a reliable seal, it should be good for at least two years.
How to Use Apple Butter
Apple butter is a versatile spread that can be used in many ways. Here are some ideas for how to use apple butter:
- Spread on toast: One of the most popular ways to enjoy apple butter is to spread it on toast or English muffins for breakfast or as a snack.
- Use as a topping: You can also use apple butter as a topping for oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, waffles, or ice cream.
- Incorporate into baked goods: You can add apple butter to baked goods like muffins, cakes, and bread to add a rich apple flavor and moist texture.
- Use as a glaze: Apple butter makes a delicious glaze for roasted meats like ham or pork, adding a sweet and tangy flavor.
- Use in savory dishes: Apple butter can be used to add a unique flavor to savory dishes like barbecue sauce, salad dressings, or marinades.
- And here is where I let you in on my secret. My very favorite way to eat apple butter is with cottage cheese. Especially on top of a piece of toast. If you've never tried this, don't judge me. (lol) But I absolutely love a piece of toast with a thin layer of apple butter and a thick layer of cottage cheese on top. Yummy!! One of my favorite foods for breakfast.
These are just a few ideas for how to use apple butter. With its sweet and tangy flavor, apple butter is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways to enhance your meals and snacks.
If you try this Amish apple butter recipe, I would love it if you left a comment and star rating below. I love to hear from y'all.
Amish Apple Butter Recipe
- 8 c. unsweetened applesauce (approx. 3 1/2 lb. cooked apples)
- 3 - 3 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar or apple cider
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- Mix all the ingredients and pour it into a roaster or baking dish.8 c. unsweetened applesauce (approx. 3 1/2 lb. cooked apples), 3 - 3 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar or apple cider, 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Pour into jars and cold pack for 15 - 20 minutes.
- Or cool and put into airtight containers or jars (leave some headspace) and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Keep refrigerated for up to a couple of weeks.