Why You Need Apple Butter in Your Life

Go sweet or savory with this versatile fall treat.

Celebrate the start of fall with our favorite apple recipes. This month, we’re partnering with Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen to share tips, insights and recipes featuring fall’s favorite fruit.

If your first instinct when you hear “apple butter” is thinking of some heavy, fat-laden butter mixture, fear not. Despite being called “butter,” there’s actually no dairy or fat at all in apple butter. Instead, it’s a wonderfully concentrated and thick spread (hence the “butter” name) that can play sweet, savory and all things in between.

You make apple butter essentially the same way you do applesauce, but with a longer cooking process to reduce even more of the liquid off.

Live.Love.Lux Tip: Simmer to perfection with your Electrolux Gas Range — learn how the precise heat control yields delicious results.

As for the type of apple you use for apple butter, it is pretty flexible. Ideally, go for a sweet variety like Fuji, Jonagold, Honeycrisp or Braeburn. All of those should be easy to find at a well-stocked market in the fall.

The trick to doing sweet-and-savory well is to not overdo the sweet and blur the line on what flavor should be taking the lead. Cheese pairs so well with fruit because of the salty counterbalance that cheese tends to lend. So, taking that one step further, apple butter on a grilled cheese is akin to melty sandwich perfection.

Because it’s being used in a savory sandwich in this recipe, keep the apple flavor straight-forward and don’t add any sweet spices like cinnamon, ginger or vanilla. That said, if you’re looking to use your apple butter on things like toast or muffins, those warm spices are a nice addition.

Grilled Sandwich with Shaved Chicken, Spinach, Goats Milk Cheddar + Homemade Apple Butter

"For the apple butter here, I leave the skins on since I don’t mind the bit of texture, but feel free to peel them if pure smoothness is your goal." — Sara

Servings: 2



Apple Butter

2 pounds apples

2/3 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Grilled Cheese

4 slices fresh bread

Butter, room temperature, for cooking

6 ounces sliced chicken (fresh or from a deli)

4-5 ounces grated goats milk cheddar cheese

1 cup baby spinach


Core the apples and cut them into 1” chunks. Into a large, heavy bottomed pot, combine the apples, cider, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the apples soften and collapse, stirring occasionally and adding cider if necessary.  It will look like applesauce at this point and you can puree if you’d like it extra smooth. Continue to cook on medium-low for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce the mixture and thicken it. Turn the heat off and let it cool completely.

Transfer to a jar with a lid to store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

To assemble your sandwiches, heat a heavy pan over medium heat. Butter the outsides of your bread. For each sandwich, spread a thin layer of apple butter one side, and pile half the grated cheese on the other, layer some shaved chicken and spinach leaves and close the sandwich. Griddle the sandwich for two minutes on each side, with a weight or lid on top if you have it, to warm through. Slice in half and serve warm.

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