Easy Stovetop Apple Butter. Made with simple ingredients it's thick, spreadable, a gorgeous rich, deep mahogany brown color, and packed with concentrated spiced apple flavor!
We're feeling all the fall vibes today with this Stovetop Apple Butter. Apples. Brown sugar. Spices. Cooked down and reduced slowly until caramelized and super-concentrated.
It smells like fall, it looks like fall with its deep, rich, autumnal reddish brown color, and it tastes like fall with its thick, sweet, very rich and delicious spiced apple flavor.
In this post:
Here is what you need at a glance, along with some ingredient notes and substitution suggestions:
- Apples - Such as Mcintosh, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Red Delicious or Gala. The variety doesn't matter too much, although I prefer to use a couple of different ones because I think it makes for a better-tasting, more balanced apple butter. Bear in mind that tart apples like Granny Smith and Bramley will produce a slightly tart, less sweet apple butter.
- Sugar - I use dark brown sugar for the rich molasses flavor, and lovely color it gives the apple butter. You can use light brown if you prefer, or even half sugar and half maple syrup. For refined sugar-free and sugar-free options see the FAQs.
- Spices - A delicious, warming combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla which really enhance and complement the apples. You can use pumpkin spice or apple pie spice instead of the individual spices.
- Apple cider vinegar - A little acid for brightness and balance. Lemon juice is a great alternative.
How To Make Stovetop Apple Butter
Making apple butter on your stovetop is really easy. Here's how:
Add everything except the vanilla to a large pan. The apples will release their own liquid. Don't add any extra.
Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until the apples are tender.
Blend with an immersion blender.
Continue cooking with the lid off until the apple butter has darkened even more, reduced, and thickened. It should look something like this by the time it's done:
Turn off then add the vanilla before transferring to containers.
Success Tip - If you can, give your apple butter a few days to age before you enjoy it. A little time allows everything to mellow and meld together and the flavor will be way better.
Store apple butter in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one month or freeze for up to 1 year. It can also be canned but this isn't something I have personal experience of. Ball Mason Jars Canning and Preserving Guide would be a great place to start for expert information on all things canning.
How To Use Stovetop Apple Butter
Use your Crock Pot Apple Butter in the same way you would any other fruit jam, preserves, or spread. Here are some ideas:
- On freshly baked sourdough, wholewheat bread, or no yeast bread.
- On toast, sweet potato biscuits, apple muffins, and English muffins.
- Dolloped on pancakes and waffles and French toast.
- With oatmeal, vegan yogurt, or ice cream.
- Instead of pumpkin puree or applesauce in recipes where you want concentrated apple flavor without all the water that cooked apples usually contain.
- In grilled cheese sandwiches or with vegan cheese and crackers and on cheese/charcuterie boards. It's especially good with Miyoko's sharp cheddar!
- In marinades and sauces like BBQ sauce. Try making my vegan BBQ sauce recipe but switch out half of the ketchup for apple butter. Or mix some apple butter with store-bought BBQ sauce. It's so delicious!
- In pies, cakes, and hand pies.
- For gifting in a pretty jar with a ribbon!
It can definitely be canned but this isn't something I have personal experience of. Ball Mason Jars Canning and Preserving Guide would be a great place to start for expert information on all things canning.
See my Instant Pot Apple Butter recipe for details.
See my Slow Cooker Apple Butter for details.
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it by leaving a comment and rating below! And be sure to join my mailing list for more deliciousness!
Stovetop Apple ButterAuthor:
- Add everything except the vanilla to a large heavy bottomed pan. Stir, put the lid on, and cook over medium heat until the apples are soft. This usually takes 20 to 25 minutes. Don't add any additional liquid.
- Blend the apple mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Be careful because it will be very hot. If you don't have an immersion blender you can use a regular blender or even mash it really, really well with a potato masher.
- With the lid off, continue cooking the apple butter over a low heat for a further 1 to 2 hours. During this time it will reduce and thicken. The longer you cook it the richer, darker, and thicker it will get. You are looking for it to reduce by about half, be a very rich, mahogany brown color and to look and feel very thick, almost like caramel. Clear track marks should be left when you stir with a spoon. See my pictures in the post above, and video below for visual comparison.
- Once it's ready, turn the heat off, add the vanilla, stir through, then spoon the apple butter into clean and dry containers or jars.