Crimp-Eye Pirate Apple Butter

Even the Dread Pirate Roberts fears the Crimp-Eye Pirate Apple Butter!

  • Ingre­di­ents:
  • 8 lbs. apples
  • 2 cups cider
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • OPTION: Replace a table­spoon or two of the apple cider vine­gar with bal­sam­ic vinegar
  • 2−1÷4 cups white sugar
  • 2−1÷4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp. vanil­la extract

Wash apples, remove stems, peel, core and quar­ter them (I pre­fer using my handy-dandy crank-pow­ered apple peel­er!).

Cook slow­ly in cider and vine­gar until soft.

Using a stick blender, purée to the con­sis­ten­cy you pre­fer. I aim for it being a bit thick­er than apple­sauce, but with­out any big chunks.


It can be a lit­tle tricky to get the con­sis­ten­cy you like; if you purée to the right con­sis­ten­cy but then add the sug­ars and spices and boil it down, it can end up a lot run­nier than you’d like. I pre­fer purée­ing it just enough to let it be stirred and boiled, then purée it a bit more at the end. After that you can boil it a few more min­utes, then fin­ish up.

Add white and brown sug­ar and bring to a gen­tle boil, stir­ring fre­quent­ly. Add the spices and bal­sam­ic vine­gar toward the end and stir just enough to combine.

To test for done­ness, remove a spoon­ful and hold it away from the steam for 2 min­utes. It is done if the but­ter remains mound­ed on the spoon.

Anoth­er way to deter­mine when the but­ter is cooked ade­quate­ly is to spoon a small quan­ti­ty onto a plate. When a rim of liq­uid does not sep­a­rate around the edge of the but­ter, it’s.

If You’re Gonna Can It:

Ladle hot apple but­ter into hot, ster­ile jars, leav­ing 1/4‑inch head­space. Remove air bub­bles and adjust head­space if need­ed. Wipe rims of jars with a damp­ened clean paper tow­el. Screw on lids fin­ger-tight and process, adjust­ing for alti­tude if need­ed (see chart below).

Check the seal on the lids after 24 hours; refrig­er­ate any jars that did­n’t seal properly.

Pro­cess­ing time at alti­tude of:
Jar Size 0 — 1,000 feet 1,000 — 6,000 feet Above 6,000 feet
Pint or half-pint 5 min­utes 10 min­utes 15 min­utes
Quart 10 min­utes 15 min­utes 20 min­utes