I may have ruined my apple butter!

I recently bought a crate of apples at a friend’s school fundraiser. I’ve been racking my brain to try to use them in ways other than muffins and applesauce, and decided to attempt apple butter. However, as first time recipe endeavors can occasionally go awry, I committed the egregious error of not reading the instructions through more than once (my Step Mom is laughing from afar!) Sadly, I added the sugar to the boiling liquid with the vinegar and spices etc.. and kept wondering why it was taking so long to cook down. It was too late when I realized that I was supposed to WAIT to add the sugar until after I had pressed all the pulp through, at which point I was supposed to add it to the pot to simmer and thicken. Now, do i remove the apples and mash them to a pulp, and only cook that down as is? I don’t want to add MORE sugar, am sure it would be cloyingly sweet. Help!! and Thank You for this amazing publication!

Kate Hayden


Lori T. November 15, 2022
I don't think you have ruined your apple butter. The time to cook the mixture down will depend on the moisture content of the apples when you started. My own recipe calls for adding all the ingredients to the pot at once, then cooking it down to mush. I process mine in an oven, rather than on a stovetop because it can take simply hours, but I have done it in a slow cooker as well. In your case, I would mash your now cooked apple mixture, and continue to cook it down. I would not add any more sugar, because you have already done so. But by all means, taste it when you feel it's done and adjust anything at that point. If it seems too sweet, you can always add a bit more cider vinegar and cook a little longer to counter the sweetness. You can also adjust spicing to your taste as well. The recipe is fortunately on paper, and not in stone- so you can feel free to alter it to suit yourself.
Kate H. November 15, 2022
Thank You for this! I went ahead and let cool mostly, mostly drained off liquid, pulsed in blender, and then ran the mash through a fine mesh strainer. Tonight I’ll continue to cook down and adjust accordingly, hopefully that works!!
Nancy November 15, 2022
Oh, what a waste! (maybe).
Sounds like you might need specialist knowledge - either preserving and/or about apples.
I would try
* one of the canning jar sites (Mason, Ball, Bernadin, Atlas);
* an orchard tthat sponsors fall apple picking and then using the product at home;
* company that packages applesauce or apple butter.

Kate H. November 15, 2022
GREAT Ideas! Thanks so much!
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