Rum Raisin Apple Butter Everywhere

While browsing Chickens in the Road  yesterday I ran across Suzanne’s recipe for Rum Raisin Apple Butter. I will include Suzanne’s recipe at the end of this post. I got a bit confused because it says to bring the apples to a boil but there was no mention of adding any water. I was concerned that the apples would burn before enough juice was released to come to a boil so I added a couple of cups of water. It cooks off during the long process of simmering anyway. The other change I made was to add a teaspoon more cinnamon once it started simmering. It seems like the cloves were overtaking the cinnamon and that is not the way I like it. The butter came out perfectly spiced. Suzanne’s recipe states that it might take a couple of hours for the puree to cook down into apple butter but mine took 6+ hours! I couldn’t cover it with a lid because the liquid needs to escape for it to thicken. Putting a lid on just created steam and it stayed soupy. I tried covering the pot with a dishtowel which fell in. I tried covering it with paper towels which fell off and caught fire. I tried propping the lid which fell off into the floor with a shattering bang. I finally just decided to go with it and simmer the apples without covering the pot. I finished up about 10:00 p.m. last night, cleaned the kitchen and went to bed. Everything looked fine last night in my dimly lit kitchen until I came downstairs this morning. There was apple butter everywhere!

On the floor:

On the microwave:

 On the wall:

On the cabinets:

On the ceiling:  

Despite the mess, this apple butter is amazing.

In the jar:

On my toast:


Here’s the recipe directly from Chickens in the Road blog site.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Prep Time: a couple of hours   Cook Time: 10 minutes


2 quarts apple pulp
4 cups sugar
1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup rum


For each batch per this recipe, you’ll need about four pounds (maybe 16 medium) apples (or more if your apples are small).

Cut, peel (if you must, see note), and core them. Place in a large pot; bring to a boil and simmer until soft but not liquefied. Puree using a food processor or food mill.

Note: I don’t peel them. I just cut, core, and cook. I use a food mill, and by the time the apples go through the food mill, the peel is pretty well strained out. (It’s so much easier not to peel!)

What you want to end up with is two quarts of apple pulp (per recipe batch).

Combine apple pulp, sugar, spices, and raisins in a large pot. Simmer slowly until mixture thickens and rounds up on a spoon. (May take a couple of hours.) Stir frequently. Toward the end of the simmering time, as the mixture is thickening, add 1/2 cup rum. (Don’t add the rum earlier as you don’t want all the good rum flavor to boil away!) Simmer a little while longer until mixture is thick and ready for canning. Ladle hot butter into jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Put on lids and bands.

Boiling Water Bath 10 minutes.

For me, this makes about six jars (half-pint size). You can double, triple, etc, the recipe to make as much as you want. Your house will smell great while it’s cooking!


  1. Nancy says

    P.S. I love TJ’s pumpkin butter. I’m sure you could whip up something better and maybe kinder to the kitchen. Let me know if you have a recipe for that.

  2. Nancy says

    I love the thought of it but, the cleanup sounds overwhelming. Guess I’ll just buy some from Trader Joe’s. I’ve had a few things wind up all over ceiling, floor and cabinets so I’ll pass on this. one, Looks delicious tho.

    Mmm ya know Mary, I thinks it’s time you had a contest and gave away a jar of your apple butter. My comments are definitely the most sincere and interesting, so I’ll make it easy on you – I WIN!! Let me know when you are sending it and I’ll give you my address.

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