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Bring in extra apples and cozy vibes with this easy and delicious homemade Amish apple butter recipe.

As soon as cold weather starts peeking it’s head around summer’s corner, my excitement begins to grow for all things “fall” and cozy.

Here in our part of New York, we are fortunate to have many apple orchards local to us. Accessibility plus tons of kid-friendly attractions makes it very easy to accidentally come home on a random Sunday with many pounds of apples during apple season. 

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation and are looking for some recipes to use up the excess (and regain some counter space), you’re in the right place!

WHAT IS AMISH APPLE BUTTER, ANYWAY?

Amish apple butter is a coveted spreadable condiment that bursts with seasonal spices and cozy apple flavors. I would consider it to be a cross between butter and jam — although it’s actually neither. And it doesn’t contain dairy so it’s very vegan-friendly.

You’ll likely not find it in your local grocery store unless you live near an Amish or Mennonite community. You may have luck at farmer’s markets and artisan general stores but some price tags can stretch upwards of $25 for one small 4oz sized jar. 

In Pennsylvania Dutch, apple butter is called lottwaerrick. Once upon a time, there was a custom brought to America from the Palatinate area of Germany where parties were held to cook various types of fruit over open fires for hours upon hours. With apples being the main event, many bushels of apples would be pared and turned into “schnitz” (apple slices) by members of the community. The butter-boiling would then take place over an entire day, or several days, depending on how many fruits were being made into butter. 

Apple butter-boiling parties were highlights of the season where young couples would each take turns to stir the apple butter. While ‘schnitzing parties’ are not the rage anymore, the practice of making seasonal apple butter prevails in many cozy kitchens today.

AMISH APPLE BUTTER IS THE TYPE OF THING THAT EVERYONE LOVES

Homemade Amish Apple Butter spread on a piece of sourdough bread

Especially the kids, so it never hangs around too long. When it’s time to stock up, I’ll make one big batch then water bath can a few jars for the pantry. I’ll give you those instructions for canning in case you want to preserve a few extra jars. 

We use apple butter on everything from pork chops and chicken, to English muffins, pancakes, and sourdough bread. You really cannot go wrong with it!

This Amish apple butter recipe also makes a GREAT gift for moms, friends, neighbors, Church communities, teachers, and anyone who deserves a little extra acknowledgment. 

Grab my free printable gift tags to pair with some cute red and white string or natural twine for the perfect touch.

EASY HOMEMADE AMISH APPLE BUTTER RECIPE

To make this Amish apple butter recipe, you’ll need a few simple ingredients:

  • 12 (or around 5lbs) of sweet apples (peeled, cored, and chopped)
  • 1 cup raw, unfiltered apple cider (NOT apple cider vinegar!)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

There are many different ways to make Amish apple butter ranging from stove top, to crock pot, and traditional oven preparation. I will give you instructions for all three so that you can decide what works best for you. 

WHAT KIND OF APPLES ARE BEST?

The best apples to use are the varieties of apples that your family enjoys the most! Tart apples like Granny Smith will require a larger amount of sugar for balance. Sweet apples like Roma, Honeycrisp, or Macintosh will require less sugar. 

Sourcing locally is always better than buying at big chain stores. Don’t worry about the name or type of apple, use whatever you have on hand.

STOVE TOP PREPARATION

Place all of the ingredients into a large pot and cook over medium heat uncovered until the apples begin to fall apart. This usually takes around 60-90 minutes. 

Blend the apples with a hand immersion blender until smooth and continue to cook on medium heat for another hour until the mixture thickens and the color deepens to a dark amber.

Remove from heat and transfer to jars for storage. 

CROCKPOT APPLE BUTTER PREPARATION

Add all ingredients into a crockpot, toss to coat the apples with the spices. Cook on low heat for 7 or 8 hours until the apples have fallen apart. 

Blend with a hand immersion blender until smooth. Cook on low heat until the mixture begins to thicken and deepen in color. This can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.

Remove from the heat and transfer to jars for storage. 

OVEN PREPARATION (TRADITIONAL METHOD)

Add apples and cider into a large pot and cook over medium heat until the apples begin to soften, about an hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

Transfer apples to a large roasting pan, add sugar and spices.

Cook 3 to 4 hours until it thickens and deepens in color. Stir every so often to encourage thickening.

Remove from the oven and transfer to jars for storage. 

AMISH APPLE BUTTER WITH HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

This can also be made using one gallon of homemade applesauce and a quart of unfiltered apple cider.

If you are taking this approach, as I have often done, you may transfer the apple sauce, cider, and spices directly into the roasting pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 5 to 6 hours, stirring every 45 minutes or so to encourage thickening. Remove from the oven when the thickness and color are to your liking. Transfer to jars for storage. 

AMISH APPLE BUTTER RECIPE CANNING INSTRUCTIONS

Amish apple butter can be canned and stored in the pantry for up to 1 year without a problem. The water bath canning method is used for preservation and only takes about 15 minutes. 

Start with some 4oz glass jars and lids that have been sterilized. Using a gravy or smaller ladle, transfer the apple butter into your jars. Wipe the rim of the jars clean and apply the lids. 

Submerge the jars into boiling water for 10-15 minutes until you hear the “pop” indicating the lids have sealed. Carefully remove the jars with tongs and let cool on trivets before touching them with your hands.

HOW TO STORE FRESH AMISH APPLE BUTTER

Apple butter that is fresh and has not been canned should be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container as it will be perishable. It generally keeps for around 3 weeks.

Homemade Amish Apple Butter spread on a piece of sourdough bread

EASY HOMEMADE AMISH APPLE BUTTER RECIPE

Yield: Five 4oz Jars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 30 minutes

Bring in extra apples and cozy vibes with this easy and delicious homemade Amish apple butter recipe.

Ingredients

  • 12 (or around 5lbs) of sweet apples (peeled, cored, and chopped)
  • 1 cup raw, unfiltered apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a large stock pot and cook over medium heat uncovered until the apples begin to fall apart. This usually takes around 60-90 minutes.
  2. Blend the apples with a hand immersion blender until smooth and continue to cook on medium heat for another hour until the mixture thickens and the color deepens to a dark amber.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to jars for storage.
  4. Refrigerator fresh apple butter or water bath can to preserve.

Notes

See the blog post for instructions to make via crockpot or the oven.

Check Out More Cozy Cold Weather Recipes

Copycat Panera Turkey Chili

Old Fashioned Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Easy Mashed Maple Sweet Potatoes (Without Brown Sugar)

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