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Chef John's Apple Butter

Rated as 4.82 out of 5 Stars

"Move over, apple sauce. Apple butter is basically a spreadable apple pie filling, only better. Though cooking time is long, it's super easy and pretty hands-free. Pair it with some sharp Cheddar on a cheese plate, or slather it onto cheesy biscuits (see footnote). Other approved uses include spreading between the layers of a spice cake, filling seasonably appropriate thumbprint cookies, or even as a condiment for pork chops."
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10 h 15 m servings 82
Original recipe yields 32 servings (4 cups)


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  1. Place apple pieces into a large slow cooker. Add white sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vinegar. Add a splash of water and mix well.
  2. Cover and cook on High until apples are starting to soften and release liquid, 1 to 2 hours. Reduce heat to Low and cook, uncovered, until all the apple flesh is dissolved, 5 to 6 hours. Stir occasionally.
  3. Puree using an immersion blender until smooth. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until darkened and thick, about 4 hours more. Pass apple butter through a strainer if desired. Seal in a glass container and refrigerate until cool.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • Any classic cooking apple should work in this recipe.
  • If you don't have a slow cooker you can certainly do it on top of the stove over low heat, as long as you use a nice thick-bottomed pot, and stir often. Another option would be to place the mixture in a large roasting pan, and cook it in a slow oven, stirring occasionally until dark and thick.
  • See my recipe for Irish Cheddar Spring Onion Biscuits.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 82 calories; 0 21.8 0.2 0 75 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 42
  1. 51 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Used this recipe because it seemed pretty close to what I used to make. The apple butter was very good and not as sweet as other apple butters. Definitely try to use Granny Smith's as indicated ...

Most helpful critical review

I love Chef John's recipes, usually. This recipe - I hated. Weird with the apple cider vinegar. My boyfriend hated it too. For as long as it took, I was expecting something great. No where ...

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Used this recipe because it seemed pretty close to what I used to make. The apple butter was very good and not as sweet as other apple butters. Definitely try to use Granny Smith's as indicated ...

I made this on my instapot. 7 minutes high pressure and 10 minutes natural release. Then after I blended it I slow cooked it on high with a lid on it slightly ajar for 5 hours. Its SO GOOD. Has ...

It goes without saying, this Chef CANNOT make a mediocre or bad dish regardless of the category. You never cease to amaze me Chef. This Apple Butter is by far the best I've ever had and making ...

I used Gala apples but tasted before hand so I could decide about the sugar amount. I decided one cup would be plenty and it was. I cut the salt down to 1/4 teaspoon and omitted the allspice as ...

It was well worth the wait & time. Thank you Chef John.

I used the left over honey crisp apple slices from my kids' lunch. I cut the recipe to 1/3 of the amounts. In total the process took 3 hours. The apple butter is delicious. I even compared it to...

Made this apple butter today and it turned out GREAT! I only used a splash of apple cider vinegar, instead of water. And I used about a cup of apple cider. I only used one cup of white sugar and...

I didn't make any changes other than only having 2# of apples peeled and cored. I just halved the ingredients. Very easy and very tasty. I will definitely make this again.