Caramel Apple Butter

  • Serves

    makes 3 cups


A rich caramel sauce adds creamy sweetness to standard apple butter; spread it on toast, use it to fill pastries, or just eat it with a spoon. This recipe comes to us from cookbook author Karen Solomon, who developed it for our Preserve the Season series.


  • 4 lb. firm, crisp apples, like Fuji or King David
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 12 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 12 cup heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 12 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel and core apples; cut them into eighths. Toss with oil and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast for 1 1⁄2 hours, until golden; set aside. When apples are cool enough to handle, place in the bowl of a food processor and purée slightly; set aside.

Step 2

In a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat, combine granulated sugar and 1⁄2 cup water. Cook without stirring, 7–9 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reads 385°. When it starts to caramelize, swirl the pan gently for even color. Slowly whisk in cream, then butter. Lower heat to medium and whisk until thick, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and whisk in brown sugar. With the motor of the food processor running, stream caramel into bowl with apples and purée until slightly smooth. Add lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and mix until combined.

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