Homemade apple butter with cardamom

I love to go apple picking, but inevitably, the moment I step foot in the apple orchard, I get carried away ‑ I pick more apples than I can carry, and more apples than my fridge can hold. I just can’t help it! But there’s no need to panic. Not a single apple will go to waste because I know that even a small batch of homemade apple butter like this one will take care of several of those apples.


  1. Place the sliced apples in a slow cooker. Add the lemon juice, apple cider and maple syrup.
  2. Crack open the cardamom pods to release the tiny seeds by pressing the pods with the side of a chef’s knife. Crush the seeds into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle. Add the freshly ground cardamom to the slow cooker, then stir everything together.
  3. Cook the apples on high in the slow cooker for 3 hours or until the apples are very soft. Pass the cooked apple mixture through a fine mesh sieve or food mill to purée them. Alternatively, you can use a hand blender to purée them until smooth. Return the mixture to the slow cooker and continue cooking on high for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom or sides. To help thicken the apple butter, for the last hour or so, slide the cover off so that the slow cooker is only half covered to allow water vapour to escape. Turn off the slow cooker when the apple butter has thickened, then stir in the Natrel butter.
  4. Transfer the homemade apple butter to clean jars. Store in the fridge with the jars open until the apple butter has cooled completely, then close them.

Janice Lawandi

Montreal, Quebec

Today, Janice works as a recipe developer and also writes about science in the kitchen.

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