How to Make and Gift Apple Butter

In the spirit of all things autumn and the apple-picking loot that goes with it, our friend Ricca recently cooked up a batch of apple butter to share with friends and family. (Thanks, Ricca – we can’t wait to spread this on toast on a chilly winter morning!) She packaged the apple butter in jars with Makr labels. Read on for her start-to-finish how-to.

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Ricca used this apple butter recipe (copied at the end of this post) from Marcus Samuelsson. She finished the gift with labels made with Makr’s round sticker format, printed on Avery’s Print-to-the-Edge Round Labels 22807. Ricca made sure to include the “made on” date on her label; the apple butter keeps for a year unopened and three weeks once opened.

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To make and gift your own apple butter, follow the recipe below. (Makr’s advice: it’s so delicious; plan to keep a jar for yourself. You know what they say about an apple a day…) Happy making!

Apple Butter (marcussamuelsson.com)

Servings: 4-6 half pints

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs. mixed apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • Juice of 2 lemons

Directions:

1. Place the apples, syrup, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice in a dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Make a sachet with the star anise (or add in whole) and add to the pot.

2. Cover the stock pot and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium-low, partially uncover the stockpot, and cook until the apples are soft. The apples will begin to soften within 20 minutes. Let the apples cook for another hour. Gently mash the apples as needed to break them down with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon.

3. Remove from heat and take out the sachet of anise. Blend with an immersion blender or in small batches in a blender until the texture is smooth but still thick–like the consistency of baby food.

4. Carefully ladle the apple butter into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace in the jar. Process using the following method or place lids on jars and keep refrigerated for 2 weeks. Check for and remove as many air bubbles as possible. Wipe the rims clean with a damp towel (this helps the jars to seal properly.) Place the lids on top, then the ring. Screw on the rings to finger-tight. Be sure not to over-tighten; this is done so air can escape during processing. Put the jars back into the hot water. Process for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the canner and set on racks to cool (you will hear a pop as each can seals). After the jars are sealed, tighten the rims. (If you have a jar that doesn’t seal, refrigerate and eat the apple butter within 3 weeks.)

5. Be sure to label and date the jars. The apple butter keeps for a year unopened and 3 weeks once opened.