Vanilla Maple Apple Butter & What to Do with Apples

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Stock up on apples when you see a great price, generally under a buck per pound. Then do great and tasty things with those apples.

So, I’ve bought a lot of apples so far this season. 50 pounds and counting. At this time next week, I’ll be up to 70 and I’m not sure when I’ll stop. When the price goes up, I suppose.

You see, our produce co-op has ten pound bags for $7.70. That means these beautiful organic Granny Smiths are only $0.70/pound which in these here parts is a screaming deal. I know this price won’t last long; in fact, I’m surprised that they haven’t sold out yet.

So what do you do with 50 pounds of apples?

Let me count the ways.

1. Eat them fresh.

I love it when my kids ask for something to eat because now I have a good, healthy answer. Apples! I’m keeping the crisper filled with apples and the kids know that they can eat them whenever they want. They just can’t waste them.

Some get really jazzed that they can have a WHOLE apple, others prefer them sliced. And there are lots of fun ways to slice apples.

We also spread them with sunbutter or dip them in maple whipped cream. It makes for a lovely, nutritious snack.

2. Make applesauce.

My kids can go through applesauce in no time. The great thing is that applesauce is a no-brainer to make. Just peel and core the apples. (Or cook with the peels on like Amy does.) I use my handy dandy apple peeler-corer-slicer. Toss them in the Crockpot with a little water and walk away. Just walk away.

Well, after you’ve plugged it in and turned it on.

In a few hours, come back to mash it up and stir in some brown sugar and spices. I contemplated canning the applesauce, but not much of it has lasted to make it to the freezer! Maybe next week.

Slow cooker applesauce is super easy to make. And can in turn be used in Applesauce Walnut Bread and Easy Apple Turnovers.

3. Make pies.

Apple pies are one of my favorite things to stock in the freezer. I’ve been doing this for over a decade. It is just so fun to go to the freezer and pull out a pie, especially once the weather starts to chill a bit. An hour later we have a piping hot apple-scented slice of heaven ready to emerge from the oven. Yum!

This weekend I made 2 Slab Apple Pies and 3 regular pies. We’re set for the month at least.

4. Make apple butter.

Hubby doesn’t like apple butter. It’s been years since I even tasted it, so I didn’t know how I would feel about it. My guess is the last time he had it, it probably wasn’t homemade. So, I made a small batch of apple butter and canned it in small jars.

Hubby cringed when he saw it, but accepted a bite when forced. He admitted that it had a nice flavor, carmelly, he said. It was actually the maple he was tasting. It’s so yummy!

I’m imagining all kinds of delicious uses for it, including using it for the jam in my Jam and Cream Scones (from my cookbook). I also picture using it on roast pork and on Baked Brie. I can’t wait!

Want to try your hand at apple butter? I made it in the Crockpot, basically taking the applesauce I made and cooking it further. It was an all day affair, which of course is how things are with a slow cooker. Next time I might just do it up on the stove and speed up the process.


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Maple Vanilla Apple Butter
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple butter, Maple vanialla apple butter
Servings: 12 (makes 3 pints)
Calories: 203 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 12 Granny Smith apples about 3 pounds, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place the apples and water in a 5 qt slow cooker. Set on high and cook for three hours.
  2. Puree apple mixture until smooth using an immersion blender or in a food processor.
  3. Stir in maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Continue to cook on high for another three hours. The sauce should thicken and darken and mound up on a spoon. It won't spread out across the spoon when you scoop some up.
  4. Prepare jars for canning.
  5. Pour apple butter into hot, sterilized jars. Fit with metal lids and bands. Place in hot water bath and process for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove jars from water bath and allow to cool undisturbed overnight on a towel on the counter, spacing them at least an inch apart. Once cool, remove bands and check lids for seal. Store in the pantry.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate and are based on 1/12 of the recipe, about 1/2 cup. Refrigerate opened leftovers promptly and use within 4 days.

Nutrition Facts
Maple Vanilla Apple Butter
Amount Per Serving
Calories 203 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 8mg0%
Potassium 267mg8%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 44g49%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 98IU2%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

How bout them apples?

What do YOU do with apples to enjoy the season to the fullest?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. I made apple butter for the first time last year in the crockpot, and gave small jars of it away with fresh bread at Christmas. Not gonna happen this year though… apples are WAY too expensive here! Even a gallon of apple cider is $5-6! But I’ll save your recipe for another year — I never thought of putting vanilla in it, yum!

  2. Kathy says

    Can the apple butter be frozen? I usually freeze applesauce, but I was not sure about apple butter.

    • Jessica says

      I would think so, but I haven’t tried it. I know you can freeze jam, so I don’t know why not.

  3. Your timing is great! I’ve been canning apples for the past two weeks – applesauce, apple butter, apple pie filling, dried apples – and I still have half a bushel left! I’m not complaining, we haven’t had a great apple harvest like this in years. I’m trying this recipe today. Thanks!

  4. Wendy says

    I also do the apple pie filling. But we use it as a side instead. Kinda like Cracker Barrels fried apples. Goes great with pork. Only thing when canning anything don’t use thickeners or any kind of oil. It promotes botulism.

    • Jessica says

      You can use a commercial canning thickener called Clear Jel which is safe to can with. It can be purchased from Golda’s Kitchen website. 🙂 Makes beautiful apple pie filling and no spoilage or botulism risk.

  5. Jan says

    I’m sort of an apple snob every since I’ve discovered Honey Crisp … no appleauce, no apple butter, no nothing but a nice chilled apple that is cut into 8 pieces with one of them handy dandy apple cutters … and maybe, just maybe, I’ll toss a few slices in with a glass of white wine, but not very often … serve them cold and plain is my motto! 🙂

  6. Linda says

    My apple butter is taking forever to thicken. Since I added the maple syrup and vanilla it’s been cooking for 9
    hours. It’s condensed quite a bit , but I think it has lost the vanilla maple flavor. Any suggestions?

    • Jessica says

      I’m not sure. Did you do it in the slow cooker?

  7. Dina S says

    What is the difference between apple sauce and apple butter? Is it just that the butter cooks much longer and gets an immersion blender not the fork?

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