Delicious & Frugal Homemade Apple Butter Recipe For Canning

All Things Mandy
by All Things Mandy

Hey, guys, welcome to my mom’s house. Today my mother and I are going to teach you how to make my great-grandmother’s apple butter recipe. If you’ve never had apple butter, you need to try it, it’s delicious! It’s also a great way to use up apples that you have left over and stock your pantry for harder times.

Let’s put on our aprons and learn how to make this apple butter recipe for canning!

Apple butter ingredients

You will need pint jars with the rims and the lids, a bag of apples, sugar, c, and cinnamon. 

Washing and slicing apples

1. Wash and slice apples

Start the process by taking your apples over to the sink and giving them a good wash. Then cut them into slices, leaving the peel on. The peel will give our homemade apple butter color. 

Boiling apples

2. Boil the apples

Place your apples in a pot with about an inch of water. We do not cover the apples with water because we are making a sauce. Turn the stove to high and start boiling them. It is important to keep an eye on them, so they don’t scorch. If you need to add water, you can. 

Simmering apples

3. Simmer apples

Once the water comes to a rolling boil, give it a stir, and turn the heat down to medium letting the apples simmer into a sauce. 

Removing the apples from the heat

4. Remove the apples from the heat

Once your apples are cooked down remove them from the heat. You will know they are ready once they are soft and breaking apart. The amount of time it takes the apples to cook depends on the type of apple you are using. These apples took about 20 minutes. I recommend using Gala apples as I have the most success with them. 

Straining the apples

5. Strain apples through a colander

The one tool that you may need is a cone-shaped colander. This helps to strain the apples and leave behind the peels and fibers, so you are left with just a smooth sauce. 

How to make apple butter

Push your cooked apples through the colander until there is no more sauce coming through.


Homemade apple butter

This is what your sauce should look like as it comes through the colander. 

Seasoning the sauce

6. Season your sauce 

We used about 15 apples to get 7 cups of sauce but that will depend on the size of apples you buy. Once you have finished straining the sauce discard the peels and fibers and add the sauce back into a pot.  

Adding sugar

Now add 7 cups of sugar . . . 

Adding cinnamon

3 tablespoons of cinnamon (If that sounds like too much cinnamon for your taste buds, you can cut back on it) . . .


Adding fruit pectin

and lastly a packet of fruit pectin. This is a powder that gives the sauce a thick, gelatinous texture, just like you would have with jelly or a jam. You can find this in any grocery store.


Stirring the apple butter

Now, give it all a good stir.


Reheating the sauce

7. Reheat your sauce

Place your pot back on the stove and bring the sauce to a boil. This should take about 11 minutes. Once the apple sauce is nice and thick it is ready for canning.


Apple butter recipe for canning

8. Canning your sauce

While the sauce is reheating, prepare an area for canning. Make sure your glass jars have been cleaned and heated and place them on a towel. You will also need a funnel to ladle your homemade apple sauce into the jars neatly.

Wiping excess from the top

Make sure to wipe any excess sauce from the top of the jar so that it doesn’t interfere with the sealing process.

Canning homemade apple butter

Leave about an inch of space between the sauce and the top of the jar so that there is plenty of room to expand and get a good seal. You also want to make sure to seal the lid nice and tight.

Sealing the cans of apple butter

9. Sealing the jars

We have our homemade apple butter in our jars. Once you hear a pop, you know the jars have been sealed. If you can push down the center of the lid and it pops, it is not sealed. You will know for sure that it has sealed if you push down, and nothing happens. We have made 6 pints, so when I hear 6 pops, I know they have finished sealing. 

Tip: if one does not seal, don’t discard it. You won’t be able to shelf this one, but you can put it in the refrigerator and eat it first.

If you are wondering how long this apple butter recipe will last on the shelf, I would say about a year. However, it won’t last that long at my house, it’s just too good!

We've all been talking about food shortages and things like that, and if I was hungry, I would be very happy to have some of this on my shelf. Another great tip to save even more is to buy Deer apples when deer season opens, they are cheap and work great for homemade apple butter. 

Apple butter recipe

Apple butter recipe

Here is the delicious result of this apple butter recipe. I made some biscuits and pairing the two together makes a perfect old-timey country breakfast.

If you would like to find out more about what my mama teaches me, leave a comment down below. 

Join the conversation
2 of 10 comments
  • Rita Abell Rohleder Rita Abell Rohleder on Nov 14, 2023

    Would to learn more about what your mother has taught you.😊

  • Ann Reynolds Ann Reynolds on Nov 14, 2023

    This sounds like a great recipe! Easier than cooking apple butter down to thicken it, for sure! One question though, do you need to water bath the jars of sauce? Seems like all the recipes call for that now.

    Funny story-I was reading about recipes Grandma made, and thought my grandmother never made anything like that! Then realize I was the grandma! Age 77 now.