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How do I? ...Can Fruits

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Fruit

Apple Butter

Use Jonathan, Winesap, Stayman, Golden Delicious, Maclntosh, or other tasty apple varieties for good results.

  • 8 lbs apples
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2¼ cups white sugar
  • 2¼ cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves

Yield: About 8 to 9 pints

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Wash, remove stems, quarter and core fruit. Cook slowly in cider and vinegar until soft. Press fruit through a colander, food mill, or strainer. Cook fruit pulp with sugar and spices, stirring frequently. To test for doneness, remove a spoonful and hold it away from steam for 2 minutes. It is done if the butter remains mounded on the spoon. Another way to determine when the butter is cooked adequately is to spoon a small quantity onto a plate. When a rim of liquid does not separate around the edge of the butter, it is ready for canning. Fill hot into sterile half-pint or pint jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Quart jars need not be presterilized. For information about presterilizing jars see "Sterilization of Empty Jars". Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Apple Butter in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints or Pints 5 min 10 15
Quarts 10 15 20


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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