50 In Articles/ Recipes

Apple Butter

Moving right along to something a little more bipartisan… {I’m sure there were a lot more than the few commenters who were offended by the cartoon… I hope you all know that I posted it in simple jest. Aren’t we so blessed to live under a democracy where we each are entitled to and afforded our own opinion and even better, our own vote?!} Onto to the Apple Butter…

I love to can.
Call me a nerd, it’s ok.
I love to can.
Mom & DaddyBoy love to can too.

Perhaps I was born a few generations too late. There probably aren’t too many “twenty-something canners” out there. But let me tell you, there is something so rewarding about making something from scratch, sealing it in a can, and then prying it open later to taste the preserved goodness. I know, you can buy it at the store. But most ANYTHING tastes better if you make it yourself… and the fact that you can bottle up that goodness for another time {long down the road} or as a gift for another person makes it all the better!

In my opinion, there is nothing better on a hot buttered Bays than a daub of apple butter! So, without further adieu, here’s my simple recipe for the best apple butter you’ll ever taste! Now, don’t stop reading if your intimidated by canning… you can store your portion in the fridge and give the rest away or you could use these plastic freezer jars. I prefer the old fashioned canning method myself. I’ve canned 10 pints in the last 2 days!

Crock Pot Apple Butter {yields 5 pints}

16 peeled, cored & chopped apples {I used several varieties}
1 1/2 C white sugar
1 C light brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t kosher salt
Place all ingredients in crock pot and stir so all apples are coated. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce to LOW for 8 to 10 hours; stir occasionally.

Once the apples are a rich brown color and mash easily you can do one of two things. If you like your apple butter thick you can scoop the apple mixture into a mesh colander to drain off excess liquid before blending. If you like it thinner leave liquid in the mixture. If I had a hand-held blender I would have used it in the crock pot to blend the apples to a lovely “apple butter consistency”. However, I don’t have a hand-held blender…. so, I scooped several cups at a time into my blender and “pulsed” it a few times until I reached my desired consistency. I filled my jars with the hot apple butter and was ready to can. Here are a few pics along the way…
1/2 a bushel:

16 apples:
sugar & spice:
1 little girl who wanted to eat all my apples:

early on:

1/2 way:


Now, if you’d like to can it {which I recommend} it’s easy, you’ll see:

1) wash and dry jars and lids
2) while you’re filling your jars with your warm apple butter you should have your water bath heating up {I used this, purchased at any fine Walmart}
3) once the jars are filled, wipe the rims with a damp cloth and screw on the lid {but don’t over tighten}
4) place jars in the water canning rack, lower into the canner, make sure they are covered with water by at least 1″ & turn up heat
5) once you reach a boil, boil for 15 minutes
6) carefully remove jars from the canner and sit on a dry towel
7) sit and listen carefully.. “tink, tink, tink, tink…!” the jars will seal as they cool on the towel!
8) once the jars are completely cooled you can wipe the jars of any residue and store away

And if you’d like more detailed instructions on canning with pictures you can go here.

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  • Tara McClendon
    October 23, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Will you please tell me how you manage to do these domestically fabulous things while mothering 3 children and keeping up a house?! You never cease to amaze me! 🙂

    PS-Will you email me and tell me what size JM wears…perhaps in something like a Carter’s onesie??

  • Lindsey
    October 23, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Looks so yummy! We are another family of canners-would you like some homemade Blackberry jam or pear butter from our farm? Very impressed……maybe I’ll have to come over and taste it! Also-loved the political cartoon.

  • J
    October 23, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    I have ALWAYS wondered how to can! I’m going to have to give it a “go.” Thanks for the tutorial!

    PS: I like your pet squirrel!

  • Anonymous
    October 24, 2008 at 5:12 am

    Well this “twenty something” and Will just canned Pear Butter…it is SO rewarding. Miss you!
    Caroline F.

  • Caroline
    October 24, 2008 at 5:46 am

    My grandmother used to can all of the time. I wish I had watched more of what she was doing. I think she used some kind of wax at the top of her jar? Do people do that?
    I just really don’t know when you get this stuff done. Do you sleep at all?
    I just did a Bible study on the Proverbs 31 woman. Was her name Darby?

  • Kellie Patton
    October 24, 2008 at 5:49 am

    Looks delicious – do you sale them?

  • The White House
    October 24, 2008 at 6:06 am

    Darby, that looks wonderful! How do you get the cute fabric on, though? Don’t you put the top on b/f you can it?
    confused and amazed

  • chilly
    October 24, 2008 at 6:59 am


    But most of my friends and family didn’t grow up craving… I mean eating it. Thanks for the recipe, this one is going in the family cookbook.

  • Carly Winborne
    October 24, 2008 at 7:57 am

    I have wanted to can something myself for so long, but never have for the same “nerdy” feeling. I agree, I was born much too late. With your instructions, I’ll see what I can do. And I especially like your red and white fabric with the pinking-sheared edges!

  • Victoria
    October 24, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Mmmmmm I just opened a jar of apple butter yesterday but alas I did not make it. Maybe I will look into canning next year.

  • Carly
    October 24, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Trade you a piece of pie for some apple butter! Im with Tara, how do you manage all that you do?!

  • thelaundryisneverfinished
    October 24, 2008 at 8:55 am

    This is what I was looking for! And I am so up for canning. I’ve always wanted too; you are good motivation!

  • Truth Intersects Life
    October 24, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Can you come live at my house?

  • Kendra White
    October 24, 2008 at 9:43 am

    ok i have a REALLY dumb question… this looks super fun to me and I LOVE apple butter…. 2 questions:
    1) is my house going to smell yummy??

    2) does the “t” stand for table or tea spoon… i dont do much cooking, that falls under my husband’s job:)

  • Megan
    October 24, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I would do anything for a jar of that! It looks fantastic!

  • Anonymous
    October 24, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    You are amazing Darby!!!!!!!!!!!

  • becky
    October 24, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    i liked your cartoon so much, i forwarded it on!!

    and i LOVE apple butter. it is rockstar on some cinnamon raisin bread!!

    October 25, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Well, Martha Stewart would be so proud…………….I know I’m impressed!!!!

  • Alabama Frugal Mom
    October 25, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Where do you get your jars and lids? I have not seen any like that?

  • Sarah's Fab Day
    November 2, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Ok, you are the cutest thing going! I love that you can, not to mention that you do it with 3 kids. I have 2 crazy boys and if I get the house clean I think I deserve a gold medal.

    This year instead of doing Christmas gifts for friends my mom and I decided to do some “I’m Thankful for you” baskets filled with homemade goodies. Because once the holidays roll around it’s hard enough to get everything done. I think the apple butter would be perfect in it!

  • Lana Mitzel
    August 12, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you for this WONDERFUL recipe! I love apple butter, and now have a pantry full of it!

  • Pumpkins to Eat - Fly Through Our Window
    October 23, 2009 at 10:26 am

    […] Friday morning! Last year this time I was up to my eyeballs in Apple Butter {which I hope to be up to my eyeballs in again a little later this month}, but right now […]

  • Kelly
    December 24, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Canning is a lost art, but I am happy to say that I LOVE it too! Yay for canning!

  • Angel
    September 14, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Seen this recipe and it looked yummy and easy to do….so I took it!!!! I am sure it will stay with me forever! Thanks so much for sharing!!! I will pass this to my children.

  • sharon porch
    September 16, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I am looking forward to using your recipe and along with another poster am wondering how to put the pretty fabric on to give them as gifts, seeing how you have to seal them.. is it ok to take the rim off after they have sealed and put the fabric on? Sorry to sound so silly..

    thanks sharon

  • maureen
    August 12, 2011 at 11:13 am

    This sounds delicious. Where do I store it. In a fridge or pantry closet. How far in advance can I make it. I would love to give it for xmas gifts.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Carolyn
    September 28, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Apples – check; apple peeler-corer – check; crockpot – check. Read to make apple butter – check!

  • maureen
    September 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you for your recipe. Yesterdday I successfully canned 10 jars.
    Today, no so much. I did everything correct but when I was taking them from canner to cool I saw them bubbling inside.At first I heard the tink,tink,tink, but to look at them I am not sure if they are properly sealed. There is no indentation in the middle of cap.
    Since I plan to give as xmas gifts should I put the jars in freezer instead of reproccessing them or do you think are ok. Any advice would help. Thanks again

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    February 19, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Interesting description. I like to make out the print Marcy

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