Homemade sugar-free apple butter is a delicious and healthy alternative to store-bought jam. Perfect for toast, pancakes, waffles, and oatmeal.
There’s a moment at the beginning of each fall when giant, gorgeous heaps of multicolored apples seem to overshadow pretty much everything at the farmers market. It’s this punctuation in time, when the sun is still strong yet the air is crisp, and the apples smell really good, that you realize you’re pretty ready to transition into the next season.
It’s at this time that I tend to buy way too many said apples. Which is an issue for one tiny reason: Rene and I don’t actually like eating them. I mean, they’re fine dipped in peanut butter or tossed into a crunchy salad. But we’re not the kind of people who happily munch on apples during snack time. Thus, this sugar-free apple butter became the solution for my fall apple addiction.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Apples: Use organic, if possible, since this recipe uses whole apples (without peeling), and conventional apples are either waxed and/or have high levels of pesticide residue. You can use any kind of apples (sweet, tart, mealy, crisp, etc.).
- Spices: A combo of cinnamon and nutmeg. Feel free to use pumpkin spice as a sub, or skip these altogether.
- Water: Keeps the apples from burning during cooking.
- No sugar! Traditional apple butter recipes use up to several cups of sugar. With this technique, you coax out the apples’ natural sweetness, using zero refined sweeteners.
How to Make Sugar-Free Apple Butter
Chop the Apples: The greatest part is that the apples don’t need to be peeled. Their skins disintegrate into the sauce, which is a big time-saver. This also means the apples hold on to all the fiber and micronutrients in the skin. So to start, simply core and roughly chop them.
Simmer the Apples: Combine the apples with water and spices in a pot, and start simmering. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the apples are broken down and most of the water has evaporated.
Puree the Apples: Using an immersion blender, food processor, or Vitamix, purée the mixture until smooth.
Continue Cooking the Butter: Return the sauce to the pot and continue cooking until it thickens and turns a slightly darker color. This step evaporates excess moisture, concentrates the apple flavor, and caramelizes the apples’ natural sugars. Be sure to cook it over low heat and stir frequently to prevent burning on the bottom of the pot. The resulting butter will be sweet, tart, velvety smooth, and fragrant from the spices.
Sugar-free apple butter is delicious on buttered sourdough toast, pancakes, waffles, and oatmeal. You can also use it in desserts like linzer bars and thumbprint cookies. Store apple butter in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
More healthy treats…
- Magical No-Churn Banana Ice Cream
- Sugar-Free Date Brownies
- Coconut Oil Banana Bread
- Carrot Oatmeal Cookies
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag your creation with @thenewbaguette on Instagram.Print
This sugar-free apple butter is a delicious and versatile spread. Perfect for toast, pancakes, waffles, and oatmeal.
- 2 pounds apples (about 6 small), cored and cut into 1-inch chunks* (see note below)
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- In a medium pot, combine the apples, water, and spices. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer with the lid ajar until the apples are saucy and broken down and most of the liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes* (see note below).
- Transfer to a food processor or Vitamix, and puree until smooth.
- Transfer back to the pot and continue cooking over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from burning, until the mixture thickens, takes on a slightly darker color, and has a more concentrated apple flavor, about 15 minutes more.
- Cool to room temperature, transfer to an airtight container, and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Use organic apples, if possible, since conventional apples are either waxed and/or have high levels of pesticide residue. You can use any kind of apples (sweet, tart, mealy, crisp, etc.). Alternatively, peel before cooking.
- You can sub these spices with pumpkin spice, or skip them altogether.
- Note that cook time may vary since all apples have varying sugar and moisture content.
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup
- Calories: 25
- Sugar: 4.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 6.2 g
- Fiber: 1.1 g
Keywords: apples, apple butter, sugar free, vegan