Culinary Institute of America Recipe
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Apple Butter

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You can use almost any variety of apples for apple butter, but a mixture of tart and sweet apples works best. Try Granny Smith, McIntosh, Gala, and Jonathans.

To prepare jars for canning, read over your recipe to determine what size and how many jars are needed. Be sure each jar has a lid and the circular band that holds the lid in place, and that they fit properly. Do not use jars with noticeable imperfections such as cracks, chips, or bent lids and/or bands. Jars should be cleaned and heated to sterilize before filling. This reduces the possibility of contamination from residue, dust, or other impurities being trapped in the jar. It also ensures that the jar doesn’t break when it comes in contact with the sudden heat of cooked foods.

Learn all about New York State apples in our video with Chef Mark Ainsworth. Watch our techniques video—learn how to prepare apples, batch preparation, tools to use, and knife techniques with Chef Bill Briwa.

Processed, this apple butter will keep for up to six months. Once the jars have been opened, store them in the refrigerator, where they will last for up to one week.

Apple Butter recipe by The Culinary Institute of America



Makes about 2 pints

  • 5 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and diced (see note)
  • 1 3/4 cups apple cider
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. In a large pot, bring the apples and cider to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the apples are soft, 30 to 35 minutes. Use a potato masher, fork, or immersion blender to roughly mash the mixture.
  3. Return the apple mixture to the heat, and stir in the sugar, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, mace, and nutmeg.
  4. Continue to simmer until the mixture has thickened and becomes a deep rich brown, about 1 1/2 hours. The mixture will be relatively smooth, but may have a few chunks. If you want a completely smooth butter, you may purée it lightly at this point.
  5. Store the apple butter in a covered container in the refrigerator, or pour the finished apple butter into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Seal the jars and process for 7 to 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Store the processed jars in a cool, dark place.
 Per serving: 54 Calories, 0 g Protein, 15 g Carbohydrates, 0.5 g Fiber, 0 g Total Fat (0 g Saturated Fat), 1 mg Sodium, 0 mg Cholesterol

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