Crabapple butter makes the best apple butter you’ll ever taste! This recipe is sweetened with maple syrup, doesn’t require a pressure cooker or any fancy kitchen gadgets, and takes less than 1 hour to make.
Crabapple butter: the best apple butter you’ll ever taste
We’ve eaten a LOT of apple butter over the years from every type of apple imaginable. I won’t say we’re apple butter snobs, but we’re experienced and discerning in our tastes.
So when we make the claim that the maple syrup-sweetened crabapple butter from this recipe is the best apple butter we’ve ever tasted, let it be known that our opinion has some weight.
What makes crabapple butter so good?
Gram per gram, a good crabapple packs way more flavor than bred apples. Granted, it doesn’t have a high sugar content, so that’s why crabapples aren’t revered for fresh eating.
However, in recipes like this one where additional sweetness can be added, crabapples can easily outperform apples by turning up the apple flavor x 10. Also, if you’re lucky enough to find the right crabapples, you might even be able to produce a final apple butter that’s so vibrant red it almost looks like ketchup!
Crabapple notes, plus how to process and de-seed crabapples for this recipe
There is a lot of size and flavor variability between crabapples. For this recipe, use the largest fruit you can find that is fresh, crisp, and juicy. The crabapples should probably be at least the size of a cherry to make the effort worthwhile.
Once you’ve rinsed your crabapples to get rid of any dirt and insects, process each fruit as follows:
- cut off the calyx (brown part on bottom of fruit),
- quarter the crabapple,
- remove middle seed sections.
Nope, you do NOT need to remove the crabapple skins – they add flavor and color.
Processing your crabapples is the hardest and most time-consuming part of making this recipe. Having some extra helping hands makes the process easier and more enjoyable (assuming you like each other).
Stupid simple crabapple butter
This might be the easiest apple butter recipe you’ve ever made — once you get past the de-seeding part.
However, there are a few little cooking details you’ll need to pay careful attention to so we’re making a special note of them here in addition to outlining them in the recipe card at the bottom:
Step 1: Bring to boil for 10 minutes with lid OFF.
Put all ingredients in a small pot, stir together, then place on stovetop over medium heat. You want to slowly bring the ingredients to a boil.
Step 2: Put lid ON and turn temp to LOW.
After 10 minutes, turn the heat to the lowest setting, put a lid on the pot, and let the crabapples cook for another 35-40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes or so to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan, but otherwise keep the lid on to keep the remaining moisture in.
Step 3: Cool and puree.
Let the crabapples cool down to the point that they won’t burn you. Then, use a spatula to get every delicious morsel into a blender and puree them until they’re smooth. Taste your crabapple butter and be amazed at the goodness!
Yep, that’s it. No slow cooking or fancy equipment. One hour and you’ve got the best apple butter ever!
Storage and preservation
This recipe makes about 1.5 cups of crabapple butter. Store it in a glass jar in your fridge for up to 3 weeks – you’ll probably finish it long before then because it’s so good. Or use a pressure canner for safe, long-term storage.
Crabapple butter - maple sugar sweetened
Crabapple butter sweetened with maple syrup is the most delicious apple butter you'll ever taste! Plus, it only takes 1 hour to make and doesn't require any fancy kitchen equipment.
- 4 cups fresh crabapples, measured after seeds, calyx, and stems removed (1 lb 3 ounces)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Put all ingredients in small pot and stir together. Put on stove over medium heat and bring to boil for 10 minutes. Then turn heat to low, stir, and put lid on. Cook on low heat for 35-40 minutes stirring occasionally, but otherwise keep lid on. Remove from heat and puree in blender or food processor until smooth.
Makes about 1.5 cups of crabapple butter. Store in jars in your fridge if you intend to eat it over the next few weeks or use pressure canner for safe, long-term storage.
Once you taste your first spoonful of crabapple butter, please let us know what you think and drop us a recipe rating!
Other crabapple recipes you’ll love:
- Crabapple hand pies
- Crabapple mape syrup pie with whole wheat crust
- Wild-fermented crabapple cider with beautyberries
- Maple syrup candied crabapples with oat-pecan crumble cakes
- One-pot roasted chicken with chestnuts and crabapples
- Chestnut crabapple mash