Despite its misleading name, apple butter does NOT, in fact, contain any butter (nor does peanut butter). Butter instead refers to the thick, spreadable texture of the cinnamony condiment, which comes from cooking the apples long and slow so the sugars caramelize and turn that signature deep brown.
The concentration of the apples' natural sugars turns the fruit into more of a preserve, perfect for using all fall and winter long as a spread on toast, a sweet mixture in warm oats or even a mixer for spiced fall cocktails.
Skip the store-bought stuff and make your own sweet, tart butter in just a few easy steps. It's easiest to use soft apples, like McIntosh, to make apple butter, as they break down faster when cooked. Although the apples take a few hours to caramelize, the process itself is cake—you don't even have to peel or core the apples. Add in favorite fall spices like ground cinnamon, vanilla, cloves and cardamom, and remember: no butter needed.
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