Spiced Apple Butter Preserves (Canning)

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Spiced Apple Butter Preserves Recipe (Canning)

Spiced Apple Butter Preserves (Water Bath Canning)

Spiced apple butter preserves made with water bath canning techniques is an excellent way to save the taste of local seasonal apples all year long. 

Course Breakfast, Canning, Dessert, Preserving
Cuisine American, Canadian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Canning time 45 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12 125 mL jars
Author The Homesteading Huntress

Ingredients

  • 12 small to medium-sized apples
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1/4 tsp table salt

Water Bath Canning Equipment

  • slow cooker
  • blender
  • mason jars with canning rings and new lids
  • water bath canner
  • jar gripper
  • funnel
  • ladle

Instructions

  1. Peel and core apples. Chop into 1-2" pieces and place in slow cooker. Mix sugar, salt, spices, vanilla, and lemon juice into apples and cover with lid. Turn slow cooker on high for 5 hours or low for 10-12 hours.

  2. Blend cooked apples in blender until pureed - be careful, as the apples will be hot!

  3. Put apple mixture back in slow cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes or low for 2 hours, or until apple butter has caramelized and turned a rich brown color. 

  4. Sterilize mason jars in water bath canner in boiling water for 10 minutes. Soak mason jar lids in steaming hot water for 5 minutes. Take mason jars out and fill with hot spiced apple butter up to 1/4" to the top using a funnel, wiping the top of the jars with a damp paper towel or kitchen towel to clean any spills off. 

  5. Cover mason jars with lids and screw rings on finger-tight. Gently place filled mason jars into water bath canner, ensuring that the water comes 1-2" above the tops of the jars. Bring water bath canner to a hard boil and cover, processing for 10 minutes. 

  6. After 10 minutes, uncover canner and let stand for 5 minutes. Carefully remove jars out with jar gripper and place on towel without touching tops of jars. Let spiced apple butter preserves sit undisturbed for 12 hours - you may hear lids popping during this time, which is normal.

  7. After 12 hours, check the seals by pressing jar lids down -- if they pop up, they must be refrigerated or reprocessed. If the lids stay down, you've successfully canned spiced apple butter preserves!

Best Apples For Spiced Apple Butter Preserves

You’re welcome to use any variety of apples, or an assortment of different types of apples, for this spiced apple butter preserves recipe.

But if you’re unsure of where to start, I would like to offer a few recommendations to help you choose the apple variety that will yield the best results for you.

Spiced apple butter preserves are unlike apple pie or apple crumble recipes, which specifies firm, crisp apples that will not get mushy, such as Granny Smith apples.

Instead, spiced apple butter preserves are best made with apples that will melt down smoothly when they’re cooked.

I think softer apples are best for spiced apple butter because when they’re cooked and blended, they create a soft, silky, and buttery texture.

The best soft apple varieties for apple butter are:

  • Spartan
  • Cortland
  • Fuji
  • Golden
  • McIntosh
  • Liberty

If you’re not sure whether an apple is suitable for spiced apple butter, take a bite. If the texture is soft, a little mushy, or a tiny bit mealy, it’s perfect for apple butter. If it’s crisp and crunchy, the apple is better used for baking into a pie or crumble.

I live in BC, so I naturally think the best apples are Spartan apples from the Okanagan in British Columbia, but feel free to use whatever soft apple variety is local to you.

Step-By-Step Instructions to Canning Spiced Apple Butter

Note: When you’re making spiced apple butter, save the peels and cores and make apple vinegar from what’s left over, instead of composting them or throwing them away!

Canning Spiced Apple Butter Preserves (Water Bath Canning)

spiced apple butter preserves

Peel, core, and chop apples into 1-2″ pieces, and put in your slow cooker.

Mix sugar, salt, spices, vanilla, and lemon juice into the apple pieces. Cover the slow cooker with a lid and cook on high for 5 hours or low for 10-12 hours.

spiced apple butter preserves

Blend spiced apple butter mixture in a blender until pureed (be careful, as the apple butter will be very hot). spiced apple butter preserves

Pour the blended spiced apple butter mixture back into the slow cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes or low for 2 hours.

When the spiced apple butter preserves are ready, they will have caramelized and turn a rich brown color.

Now it’s time to get your water bath canning equipment ready. Sterilize the mason jars in the water bath canner in boiling water for 10 minutes. You should also soak the mason jar lids in steaming hot water for 5 minutes.

spiced apple butter preserves

When you’re ready to start water bath canning the spiced apple butter preserves, fill the sterilized mason jars with hot apple butter up to 1/4″ to the top, wiping the top of the jars with a damp paper towel to remove spills.

spiced apple butter preserves

Cover mason jars with new lids and screw rings on finger-tight. Gently place the filled mason jars into the water bath canner, ensuring that the water comes 1-2″ above the tops of the jars.

Bring the water to a hard boil and cover, processing for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, uncover and let stand for 5 minutes. Carefully take the spiced apple butter preserves with a jar gripper and place on a towel without touching the tops of the jars.

Let the mason jars sit undisturbed for 12 hours – you may hear the lids popping during this time, which is normal. spiced apple butter preserves

After 12 hours, check the seals by pressing the jar lids down. If they pop up, they must be refrigerated or reprocessed. If they stay down, you’ve successfully canned spiced apple butter preserves. Canned apple butter is best eaten within 12 months of preserving.

My Experience Canning Apple Butter

This spiced apple butter preserves recipe made with a water bath canner tastes like autumn in British Columbia to me.

I admit that this spiced apple butter preserves recipe isn’t the fastest or most straightforward recipe I’ve posted on The Homesteading Huntress.

However, homemade spiced apple butter is still one of the most delicious things that I make in the fall every year for the last three years.

I look forward to buying Okanagan apples as part of my annual fall tradition and spending long hours during the chilly fall days processing apple after apple until I’ve made enough jars of spiced apple butter preserves to get me through a year’s worth of dinner parties, hosted brunches, and gifts for friends and loved ones.

Though the spiced apple butter recipe doesn’t yield a large amount of canned preserves by the end of the eight-hour prep and waiting process, with six pounds of apples making six cups of apple butter, the end results are complex, heavily spiced, and richly flavoured.

This spiced apple butter is well worth the wait. If you can get your hands on a lot of apples, especially if they’re local apples, I highly recommend you give this autumnal recipe a try.

spiced apple butter preserves

Posted by Arielle

Arielle is a passionate urban homesteader and hunter located in Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

  1. […] They will last about 2 weeks in the fridge unless you can them with a water bath. It seems pretty easy but since I knew we would eat these up within 2 weeks I didn’t bother with the water bath! If you are interested in doing a water bath this article explains it well. You can check that out HERE. […]

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