Apple Butter

The question is, where has apple butter been my entire life? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had apple butter before, but never the homemade kind. Total game-changer. And to be clear, the homemade version of freshly baked biscuits is almost too incredible to speak about.

But what is apple butter exactly? Not sure about you, but over the years I thought it was something completely different than it was. If you’ve never had apple butter before, the name can be somewhat confusing. Apple butter is not butter. There is no butter in it at all. Truth be told, this well-known sweet spread is really a concentrated, smoother version of apple sauce, but way better.

apple butter

Historically speaking, this famous spread was originally invented in Limburg, (present day Belgium) and the Netherlands during the Middle Ages. Apple butter was later brought over to colonial America by the Germans who settled in Pennsylvania, and who were known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

apple butter

One major difference between apple butter and apple sauce is you cook it longer. The additional cooking time is what accounts for its distinct caramel color and rich apple flavor. Any variety of apples you happen to have on hand can work in this recipe. But generally speaking, softer varieties of apples, such as, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Macintosh, or Jonagold work better since they cook down faster. Truthfully, it’s really all about your taste preferences. In my recipe I use a mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp which created the perfect sweet-tart balance.

apple butter

This well-known fruit spread is perfect on your morning toast, but also a great option for serving alongside homemade rolls or biscuits at Thanksgiving. And if you plan for it, make some extra because it’s great to bake with as ell. Add some to my apple slab pie and take this simple dessert to a whole new playing field that’s perfect for any holiday meal.

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

2 thoughts on "Apple Butter"

  1. Avatar photo Sara Leslie says:

    What if I don’t have these types of apples on hand? Any adjustments I should make?

    1. Yes, please see above. I talk about this in my post. Lost of ways to make this using different apples. This is the combo I love, but you can’t really go wrong.

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