How do I? ...Can Fruits

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Fruit

Reduced Sugar Apple Butter

  • 4 pounds apples*
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ½ cup granulated sucralose*
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

*For testing purposes, Golden Delicious apples and Splenda® were used.

Yield: About 4 to 5 half-pint jars.

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.


1.  Wash and rinse half-pint or pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to fill.  Prepare lids and screw bands according to manufacturer’s directions.

2.  Wash apples well and remove stems. Cut apples into quarters or eighths and remove cores. 

3.  Combine unpeeled apples and cider in 8-quart saucepan. Cook slowly and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  Cook until apples are very soft (falling apart).

4.  Position a food mill or strainer securely over a large bowl.  Press cooked apples with cider through the food mill or strainer to make a pulp.  Be sure to collect all the pulp that comes through the food mill or strainer; for example, scrape any pulp clinging under the food mill into the bowl.
5.  Combine pulp with sucralose and spices in an 8-quart saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. 

6.  To test for doneness, spoon a small quantity onto a clean plate; when the butter mounds on the plate without liquid separating around the edge of the butter, it is ready for processing.  Another way to test for doneness is to remove a spoonful of the cooked butter on a spoon and hold it away from steam for 2 minutes. It is done if the butter remains mounded on the spoon.

7.  Fill hot apple butter into clean hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims with a clean, dampened paper towel and adjust two-piece metal lids and bands. 

8.  Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1.  Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Reduced Sugar 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-pint or Pint Jars 15 min 20 25

Additional Notes: 
(1) Refrigerate any leftover apple butter after filling jars, and enjoy freshly made!  
(2) For best quality, store processed jars that have vacuum sealed in a cool, dark place (away from light).  Jars that did not seal should be stored in the refrigerator. Reduced sugar or no-sugar-added spreads often experience quality losses faster than products made with added sugars, so it is best to make smaller batches at first until you see if you are happy with the quality over time.
(3) Once opened, jars that were processed should then be stored in the refrigerator.

Trade and brand names are used only for information. Cooperative Extension, University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences and College of Family & Consumer Sciences, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture do not guarantee nor warrant published standards on any product mentioned; neither does the use of a trade or brand name imply approval of any product to the exclusion of others which may also be suitable.

Developed at The University of Georgia, Athens, for the National Center for Home Food Preservation.  Released by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences.  October 2009.

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