If you're surrounded by windfalls and can't bear another crumble, try Philippa Davis' apple butter. A sweet spread from across the pond, ideal with toast, cheese or pork chops

Take some inspiration from across the pond and use up your windfalls with Philippa Davis’ apple butter. Best spread generously on hot, buttered toast, added to a stew or even served as a condiment with roast pork.

If you’ve had a bumper crop this year, don’t start a production line of crumbles. Read the 9 best apple recipes for your harvest to avoid gifting a pie to every family member, friend and neighbour.


Apple butter is a concentrated and caramelised apple purée with cider and cider vinegar. It’s delicious spread on hot, buttered toast and crumpets as well as on tarts, cakes and with cheese. You can add a few spoons to dressings, stews and casseroles to add a rich sweetness and it works perfectly served as a condiment with grilled chops or roast pork.

  • 2.2kg whole apples
  • 250ml cider vinegar
  • 500ml cider
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ tsp allspice

Pre-heat the oven to 120°C/250°F/Gas Mark ½ (or use the slow oven in the aga). Peel, quarter and core the apples. Tie the peels and cores into a muslin bag (like you would for marmalade with the pips and pith).

Place the bag and chopped apple into a large pot and then add the cider vinegar and cider. Bring to a simmer and cook for at least half an hour or until the apples are all soft.

Remove the bag, leave to cool slightly then squeeze back in any juice from the bag. Blitz until smooth along with the rest of the ingredients.

Place in an ovenproof pot and bake in the oven for about four hours, whisking every 45 minutes (you can whisk in any skin that has formed on top). It should have thickened and be a deep caramel colour. Transfer into sterilised jars (like you would when jam making).

The apple butter should keep for at least six months in a cool, dry cupboard or you can put it into suitable containers to freeze for up to a year.