Recipe: Just Apple Butter

Ever since I can remember, apple butter has been one of my favorite fall foods. However, most versions involve quite a bit of sugar. Now, I understand that the sugar does have a preservation quality, but eating traditional apple butter is so sweet it can give me a headache. Plus, as fast as I eat this stuff, there's no need to be worried about it going bad. In my version, I keep the peels on because peeling a poor fruit or vegetable when that peel is edible is just sad (and more work)! This obviously isn't as sweet as the apple butter you're used to, but I like it much better. With this recipe I can eat all I want with no worries.  Plus, the smell of the apples cooking is heavenly. It alone is reason enough to try this out. Apple Butter

I'll warn you, this apple butter is pretty intense in the spice department. I love cinnamon and all its friends, so I think it's perfect, but it might be wise to start with half the amounts listed for the spices and increase from there. Try it on toast (alone or with a nut butter) or mixed into oatmeal or yogurt.

Just Apple Butter

adapted from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon

makes about 2 cups


3 pounds apples

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Quarter and core apples. Arrange in a single layer on lightly oiled baking sheets or ones lined with parchment paper.
  3. Roast apples for 2 hours, making sure to switch and rotate the baking sheets halfway through for even cooking.
  4. Place cooked apples in a blender or food processor along with all other ingredients. Blend until smooth.