This is the best apple butter! It’s silky smooth and It tastes like caramelized apples! It only takes four ingredients and little bit of time!
I’m not saying this is the easiest apple butter recipe but I can assure you that it is the actual best! I try to make a habit of gratitude and every time I make this recipe, I feel grateful to the chef who taught me how to make it.
In 2020 gratitude seems paramount doesn’t it? Sometimes it feels like the only thread holding my life together…well, that and wine. Totally thankful for Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs and Chards, oh, and for wine delivery! NYC, you’re still the best!
You know what goes great with wine? Cheese? You know what goes great with a good cheese board? APPLE BUTTER!! [You see how I did that? I know, I know. Accolades aren’t necessary.]
Seriously though, apple butter was that thing that I didn’t know I needed in life. I was skeptical of its color and I felt like it probably just tasted like apple sauce. Wrong. So very wrong. Apple butter is smooth and creamy and is delightful on banana bread, pumpkin bread, really all bread if we’re being honest, cheese, and even swirled in yogurt.
It also makes a lovely gift. RIP to the holiday parties’ hostess gifts but you can still be the neighbor with the mostest, and leave cute jars of apple butter on people’s door steps.
There are 3 things that make this the BEST APPLE BUTTER:
- The incredible depth of flavor starts in the caramel. Caramelizing all the sugar keeps the apple butter from getting too sweet and it also makes the flavor more complex, so that is can’t be confused with apple sauce. [Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t spend this much time or make this much of a mess for apple sauce.]
- Deglazing the caramel at its peak with apple cider (not juice—that’s for babies) creates that next layer. Bonus points if you got your apple cider from an actual farmer!
- Last, and possibly most important, is the variety of apples you choose. There are no wrong choices as long as you have an many varieties as possible. When I’m making it at the restaurant in large batches or even at home, I literally walk through my favorite farm stand and say, “I’ll take 4 of every variety except Macintosh.” I am then usually met with an incredulous look that says in no uncertain terms, “Are you sure? We have over 30 varieties.” I respond to his incredulity with an enthusiastic, “Yes! Let’s get this party started!”
So go to a farmer’s market or the grocery store and load up the cart with whatever apples suit your fancy, make apple butter, and rest easy knowing that you made all the right choices. Take that 2020.
The BEST Apple Butter
- In a large, high sided pot, add all the sugar and cook over medium high heat to make a dry caramel. You can stir a dry caramel. As soon as all the sugar melts, I usually stop stirring. You can break up any clumps of sugar with your spoon. When it hits dark amber add the apple cider, apples and all the spices
- Cook 1 hour, remove cinnamon stick
- Immersion blend with a hand blender in the pot or carefully use a standard blender, working in batches. Pass through a fine sieve.
- Put it back in a high-sided pot and reduce over low heat, stirring frequently, until it runs off a spoon like cold honey. Cool down before putting into jars or can using the appropriate safety precautions.