Warm Pie Happy Home

Aunt Ruthie’s Old Fashioned Candy Apple Butter

Written by Aunt Ruthie on September 15th, 2017

apples candy apple butter


Image by artist  John Sloane

Ahhh…Fall…it’s that glorious time of year when the sweet smell of burning leaves and wood smoke are swirling heavenward  in the apple-crisp air (Oh my! I love it so much I want to marry it!) Folks are raking up their yards and stacking chopped wood in piles in preparation for when Ol’ Jack Frost stops by for a long winter visit. This is just one of the endearing delights of small-town America!


Local farm stands offer produce at it’s freshest! Sweet, crisp apples were on my shopping list to take home to simmer up a batch of  old fashioned Apple Butter.


I always like to start any project by creating a happy home atmosphere. When I’m going to be cooking I begin by putting on a cute apron with a flour sack towel tucked in at the waist so that I’m able to wipe my hands quickly when needed. I also make sure my kitchen is clean and clutter free.  Lighting  a candle makes the room feel cozy and putting on some happy-home music encourages a merry heart. (The music I play ranges from Bluegrass to Classical to Doris Day to The Gaither’s Southern Gospel to Bing Crosby Christmas to whatever tickles my fancy!(…oh yes I said Christmas! It’s my favorite kind of music so why only listen to it in December?) I’ve found that “setting the stage” by intentionally nurturing  a happy atmosphere almost always results in an enjoyable and even festive experience.   Having things in order, the counters cleared off and plenty of time set aside for the task,  makes for a more cheerful mama. And a cheerful mama is the best kind to be… all children everywhere I’m sure would wholeheartedly agree!  (Hey! That rhymes! LOL!) You know what Sugar Pies? Every day we are making memories with our family…happy or sad…whether we want to or not. Let’s do our best to make home sweet for our dear loved ones!  I love what Barbara Johnson said “For all of us, today’s experiences are tomorrow’s memories.” Let’s sprinkle those  everyday memories with lots of joy!

Now, with my  apples freshly scrubbed I’m ready to put up some downhome apple butter.


My white enamel-topped farm table made the perfect apple peeling station. I found that three bowls were needed to keep things in order and tidy. One bowl held the washed apples, the second bowl held the peels and cores, and the third bowl was filled with the sliced apples.



This handy old-timey apple peeler made the job a breeze! It peels, cores and slices all at the same time with just a few turns of the handle!  It’s also perfect for when you are  making apple pies, crisps and cobblers. You can use it to peel potatoes too! This particular model has a  suction mount that adheres to smooth surfaces. (It held very strong onto my enamel table. I believe it would also work well on any slick surface such as granite, tile and formica.) peeling-apples

Of course you can also sit and relax with a bowl on your lap and peel the apples like farm women have done for years.



The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you cook it in a slow cooker! I can’t believe how easy it is. You can make simple apple sauce this way too. By the way, if you are not familiar with apple butter,( it was new to me until I moved to the Ozarks), it does not have any dairy butter in it. It’s basically a highly concentrated form of apple sauce that is cooked for a longer period of time, causing the sugar to caramelize and turn the apple butter a nice golden brown.  It’s a delicious fruit preserve that you can spread on bread, biscuits, pancakes, even drizzle on ice cream. In many parts of the country apple butter making is a family event and is usually cooked in large copper kettles over an open fire. You can cook it on the stove top, but would have to stir often so it wouldn’t scorch, or in the oven. I like the simplicity of the slow cooker. Oh my, the aroma of apples and cinnamon goodness will fill your home for hours!



apples candy apple butter


Aunt Ruthie’s Old Fashioned Candy Apple Butter

1 gallon of peeled,  cored and sliced apples

1 cup fresh apple cider

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon Red Hots cinnamon candies (if you don’t have these then put another 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in its place…it will still taste delicious!)

Give it a good stir, put the lid on:

For fast cooking turn on High for 6 hours.

For slower cooking turn on low for 10-12 hours.

Stir occasionally during the cooking process. Once the apples have cooked down and have become soft use a hand held Immersion Blender to puree the apples into a smooth sauce right in the slow cooker pot…and you’ve got Aunt Ruthie’s Candy Apple Butter! Then make some biscuits or toast  to spread it on and enjoy!

To can the apple butter, sterilize your jars in boiling water for 10 minutes, then fill and seal them with lids and give the jars another 10 minute boiling water bath. Make sure the lids are sealed properly.  If you are new to canning please refer to more details here. You can make applesauce this way too. Just reduce the amount of sugar to 1 or two tablespoons (or leave it out completely) add the cinnamon, apple cider and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. You really can’t mess it up, it’s so easy and delicious!


I love the idea of using the cinnamon candies in the apple butter. Along with the yummy taste it also gives the apple butter a rosy hue which is so pretty.


An Immersion Blender made all the difference in the texture of the apple butter. I use mine often to make my soups and sauces creamy and smooth.


The apple butter recipe makes 5 pints. I sterilized the jars in boiling water, filled and sealed them with lids and gave the jars a 10 minute boiling water bath so I could give as gifts or store in my pantry.

Rosy red apples are good to eat

and Mama’s apple butter is always a treat!


A rule of thumb that I read about is if a

spoon can stand up on its own in the apple butter, then it’s ready.




This fall start the tradition of singing the Johnny Appleseed song at the dinner table and you’ll harvest happy memories and lots of laughter!

In our family my kids grew up singing the Johnny Appleseed song ’round the supper table just after we said grace. We ended the song singing “Amen, Amen AMEN!” My kids thought we were saying their grandpa’s name “Armand”, so at the end of the song they sang “Armand, Armand ARMAND!”  They still sing it the same today, it’s a family tradition! It never fails to make us burst with laughter!
The Johnny Appleseed Song
“Oh the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the apple seed, Oh the Lord is good to me, Amen, Amen, Amen! (or Armand!)”
Check out these youtube videos to learn the song:
“In the 1700’s, John Chapman, a man who became known as Johnny Appleseed, was famous for carrying a sack on his back filled with apple seeds then planting the seeds and growing acres of apple trees in the Western portions of New York and Pennsylvania. The Johnny Appleseed song is a delightful way to say Grace before meals with family and friends. The words to the Johnny Appleeed song promote how much we have to be grateful for in our lives.” ~ehow

The Johnny Appleseed story is a great one to read to your kids and grandkids! Amazon has several versions, I have this one with the charming illustrations of Will Moses.


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  1. wow thankyou for this recipe i am going to give it a try,i reckon it will make lovely gifts for xmas time xx

  2. Angie

    Love everything you do! Your words inspire me to live my authentic self! I would love it if you would give a video tutorial on how you canned the apple butter. It is my heart’s desire to try canning but I haven’t found the courage yet! This looks like a simple way to start.

  3. I’m also so tickled when I see you have a new post! Our apple tree is overflowing this year, and so making apple butter and applesauce is the plan for next week…thanks for sharing your recipe. And thanks for always inspiring me…I truly appreciate it. In a world that sometimes forgets how important home and family are, you always bring me right back to where I need to be. Happy to be “just a housewife and mom” and grateful for every minute of it!

  4. Karyn

    Sounds yummy and I would love to give it a try. However, I know nothing about canning or preparing the jars. Can I use mason jars that have been cleaned in super hot water and then use the plastic jar lids? Does it freeze well? How long will the delicious apple butter last in the refrigerator? Thank you!

  5. Donna

    You are the BEST Aunt Ruthie! Thanks so much for taking time to share such a great recipe. As always, your words and photos encourage me! Happy autumn to you and yours!

  6. Jeannette guerra

    Fall! My favorite time of the year! I read Johnny Appleseed to the kids at our church fall festival. It is one of my favorites!

  7. JoAnn Brewer

    I would like to receive your email newsletter. I have been subscribed for quite sometime now, but I have not received one in a long time. It does not even go to spam/junk mail. Sincerely JoAnn

    PS I love your site.

  8. Sheena

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m taking a trip to the apple orchard as soon as possible. Thank you.

  9. I loved to make apple butter.
    yours is so pretty… I love your blog

  10. Melissa Driscoll

    I do not mean to show my ignorance BUT, are certain apples better than others for this recipe. Always look so forward to your blog. Thank you for the encouragement.

  11. Autumn in Iowa

    Hi Aunt Ruthie!!! I love when you have a new post out. It’s an oasis from the stresses of life, when I dig into your posts. Your old-time pictures and wonderful way with words brings joy to my heart. My three little girls and I are meeting my husband after work to pick apples at his friend’s house. We have already made crock pot apple butter and pie filling from apples we were given at church. It is so fun putting up food and cooking together. The smell in our house has been that of Fall indeed. I truly enjoyed your Silos video as well. I love Chip and Joanna! Have a great day! God bless you.

  12. Cindy Lou Hoo

    Very Nice post! I make homemade applesauce on my farm every week ! Love it !! I always use red delicious! And IT IS DELICIOUS ! Never have made Apple butter! Will try it in me slow cooker ! Love Your Posts! I Really ! ENJOY The moment of peaceful reflection and goodness you share! God Bless! Cindy

  13. Sheila

    What variety of apples did you use? I want to make some today

  14. I have two apple trees in my garden, and the apples have almost ripened. I was wondering how to use them, now I know! Thank you for the amazing recipe.

  15. Virginia

    I made two batches of the Apple butter last fall it was the best ever.
    Keep up the the old time recipes.
    Love the pumpkin cupcakes too.
    Enjoy all of your posts

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