Apple Butter Recipe With Honey

This weekend we had an opportunity to harvest a whole washtub full of Granny Smith apples and couldn't decide what to do with them first.

Actually, I suppose Garrison, our 2 year old who ate several of them on the way home technically decided what to do with them first.

Once home we found something for Garrison to do so he'd stop eating all the apples and Amy found a recipe for crock-pot apple butter. So we set to work peeling, coring and slicing them to fill the crock pot.

Actually, that's not entirely true. Amy did all the work and I left the kitchen to get out of the way. Garrison and I went outside to play in the mud.

About now you might be wondering why I'd bother mentioning a recipe on my bee blog?

The recipe we found said we could substitute sugar for honey and having plenty of homemade honey on hand we thought it was worth a try.

I decided if it turned out good, I'd mention the recipe.

I'm eating the apple butter by the spoonful. Its not even making it onto toast or biscuits, so I figure its worthy of a post.

At any rate, after the dry spices are added, it's time to add in the honey.

It simmered in the crock-pot overnight, which I have to say, it smelled so good I woke up hungry several times during the night.

At periodic intervals we'd stir the butter to make sure it wasn't burning and to help soften the apples until eventually there weren't any lumps.

Once it was done cooking and the texture was just right, Amy cleaned and prepped a bunch of jars with lids and bands and she canned the apple butter.

The picture below looks like it's a distorted picture, but it's just a very short jar. A perfect size jar to give away to friends/family.

Homemade apple butter is delicious. Knowing you harvested both the apples and honey makes it even sweeter.

For those interested, here's the full recipe:

Approximately 3 lb. apples
1 cup honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
Dash of salt
3/4 cup water or fresh apple cider

Fill Crock-pot 3/4 full with peeled, cored and sliced apples. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Cover and cook on low setting overnight or until the butter is of a thick, spreadable consistency.

If apple butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until thickened. Stir often as butter thickens to prevent scorching.

Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Freeze or can for longer storage.

Variation: can substitute 3 cups sugar for the 1 cup honey.

Comments For This Post: (8) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Omi (The Bee Babies Grandma) says...
Date:   August 15, 2012, 9:48 pm

I made the same recipe but used the sugar.  I like thicker apple butter and so I did not add very much water in the beginning and then allowed quite a bit of the moisture to cook off.  Chirs is right, the spicey smell is heavenly while cooking.  I processed the pint jars I used to can the apple butter for 10 minutes.  Unfortunatly I did not realize Grumpy (Beeson Baby Grandpa) likes THINNER apple butter.  Next time I will add the full measure of water and not allow it to thicken quite so much.  I too have noticed the thickness has not kept him from spooning the mixture onto crackers for a snack.

Patti says...
Date:   July 19, 2013, 12:21 pm

I just made this last night with Anna apples.  We have a tree and they grow really well in Southern California.

It is absolutely delicious.  I don't have a scale so I used 10 apples and guessed it was probably 3 lbs.  I also used 3/4 cup of honey and it was plenty sweet.  Next time I will use even less honey.

I'm starting the canning process now otherwise we won't have any apple butter left.

Monica says...
Date:   December 3, 2013, 1:20 pm

This looks really tasty, and my husband is always talking about apple butter. About how many jars did you use? I'd want to pare down the recipe so I'm not making more than I have jars on hand :)


Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   December 3, 2013, 3:02 pm


That's a very good question, and unfortunately I don't remember how many jars we used when we canned the apple butter. I do remember that it reduced down A LOT, and didn't take a whole lot of jars to can.


Monica says...
Date:   December 4, 2013, 6:51 pm

Thanks Chris!

Well I will try and guess at how much to cut it down by and let you know what I came out with :)

Thanks again for such a good recipe!

Gina says...
Date:   December 17, 2013, 7:32 pm

I just put 8 lbs of apples in the crock pot and I'm about to add the spices. I was told by someone else to not add the honey until the temp has cooled to at least 180* so now I'm not sure what to do. Can you think of any reason as to why I should wait? Thank you!

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   December 18, 2013, 9:54 am

Gina, When I make Apple Butter, I put the honey in right away.

The only reason I can think of for not putting it in right away is that heating honey above certain temperatures can cause pasteurization. Pasteurized honey does not have the same enzymes and health benefits of unpasteurized honey, but it certainly doesn't make it "bad". Suprisingly (or not) most every store bought honey (unless it specifically says "raw" or "unpasteurized") has most certainly been pasteurized and filtered by the packer. My recommendation is to add it at the beginning, but please do let me know if you end up waiting and how it turns out. I love learning new tricks and ideas!

Sarah says...
Date:   October 31, 2015, 8:40 pm

I'm trying the recipe with red delicious apples...this will be my first time ever making apple butter.  I'm excited to see how it turns out using honey instead of sugar. 

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