Stayman-Winesap Apple Butter

10 Stayman Winesap apples, sliced
1 cup apple cider
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a 4 quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 10-12 hours. Vent by placing the lid on askew and cook on low for an additional 10-12 hours or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the cinnamon stick then pour the mixture into the food processor and puree. Cool completely and refrigerate up to 3 weeks or ladle when warm into prepared jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace and process in a hot water canner for 10 minutes.

Yield: about 5 8-oz jars.

Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here is a bunch of other canning books and equipment I find useful.

My thoughts:

Stayman-Winesap apples are my absolute favorites. When I was growing up my grandpop could buy a bushel and store them on his (enclosed) basement steps. This year I decided to follow in his footsteps and we bought a bushel of apples at our local farmers market. Stayman-Winesaps normally show up on “cooking” and “baking” apple lists but I like them out of hand and spread with peanut butter or topped with sharp cheddar. I’d be content with that but since I have so many, apple butter seemed to be the thing to make. I came up with the 24 hour slow cooker fruit butter method a few years ago and it is by far many favorite method. No stirring, no scorching, no hands-on work needed except for the apple slicing (made easy with an apple slicer) and it makes your house smell amazing for a whole day. I made a batch of pear butter (recipe to come) at the same time and it really felt like fall. Try apple butter on muffins, rolls, toast, pancakes or as an ingredient in sauces, sandwiches, or baked goods. So versatile and so delicious.


  1. Ooohhh!!! This would be perfect in the Vegan Apple Butter Chickpea Blondies I make!

  2. Nakiya @ Taste of Baltimore

    Rachel, this seriously looks incredible!!!!!! I MUST make these immediately.
    Question – I am not good with improvising. Do you have any suggestions as to what kind of baked goods or meals this butter would work well with? I'm already imagining this to be a good topper to raisin bread…but I can't think of much else!

  3. Nakiya,
    I've had it served on English muffins, cornbread, yeast rolls etc but it can also be used like jam in baked goods, for example a swirl in a muffin or cake or as a filling in a bar cookie. I've also used it as an ingredient in BBQ sauce, as a condiment for pork/ham or on sandwiches. It goes well with many cheeses and it is a PA Dutch tradition to serve it with cottage cheese. Really, it is good on anything you could use jam or jelly on.

  4. Nakiya @ Taste of Baltimore

    A filling in a bar cookie!!!!!!!!!!! Done.

    Thanks 🙂 🙂

  5. My 4 year old daughter loves my sweet potato apple butter stirred into her morning porridge ^_^

  6. The color is fabulous and rich

  7. I just picked up a bunch of local organic Winesap apples and they need to be 'processed' ASAP. Could apple juice be substituted for apple cider? Just being lazy and don't feel like making a trip to the grocery store!

  8. I'd use water over apple juice, apple juice makes the apple butter really sweet.

  9. Thank you! I'm going to try it tonight.

  10. It looks like the apples don't have to be peeled before cooking (which is GREAT). Do I need to remove the peels before blending or just leave them alone?

  11. No peeling is needed. It will be very soft and easily blended.

  12. I saw a previous note that water is a better replacement than apple juice for apple cider because it is too sweet. If I wanted to use less brown sugar, would you think that apple juice would be fine? Also, do you think I could scale the recipe down by 1/2 and only make 20 oz instead of 40?

  13. You can try it with apple juice but I'm not sure it will be as good. Sugar helps in the canning/preserving process so you do not want to vary from the recipe too much.

    You can halve the recipe but as-is, the proportions work very well. If you halve it, it may throw off your yield (due to apple and evaporation variations) and you might end up with less (or more) than you'd think. 5 1/2 pints is a small yield in the canning world.