Apple butter is a warm memory from my childhood. It is family, camping, white bread toast and gratitude. It is the taste of a time when there were no cares in the world. Maybe I just like remembering good times right now, because today we have a very special apple butter recipe.
Since I live in Hawai’i, I decided to blend the traditional spiced flavors of apple butter with a tropical twist. Locally sourced Pineapple adds a bit of sweetness and acidity to this recipe that is SO good!!
Lucky for me that my friends at Kalopa Makai Farms just happened to be harvesting their amazing White Pineapples! Outside of Hawai’i you may not have heard about the White Pineapple, which is prized locally as the gold standard in Pineapples. Gold pineapples are the norm for export, the white ones are coveted for their sweetness and lower acidity. Kalopa Makai Farms grows white pineapples for market on their beautiful homestead on the Hamakua Coast. Deborah was kind enough to donate a little white pineapple beauty for this recipe (thank you!). You can check her blog to be inspired by all that she is doing on her farm. They grow, harvest and roast their own coffee, make soaps and jams and grow all sorts of cool stuff. As it turns out, it was time for Clove harvest and when I mentioned my apple butter recipe, she also shared some fresh, hand-harvested cloves.
When working with the whole cloves I removed the little round seeds from the tip of the stems and ground them with a mortar and pestle. There is an outer casing (think popcorn kernel), that is left after grinding. I used a small sifter to separate the seed casings from the ground cloves.
Let’s Get Tropical
Easy Whole Pineapple Prep with a Coring Tool
If you are using fresh pineapple in this recipe (which I highly recommend), there is a really easy tool for slicing. A pineapple corer basically peels and slices all at one time, without the need for a knife. It creates perfect rings and also leaves a cute little pineapple cup that you can use for something fun! I love my pineapple coring tool because it makes using fresh pineapple so easy (and fun!) I made this little video to show you how it works.
The process for making Pineapple Apple Butter is really very simple. There is no baking or processing, it really just comes down to some simple prep. This will be cooked entirely on the stove top, or alternatively could be done in an Instant Pot or slow cooker. I used my adorable Staub dutch oven while making mine (don’t you love the color??)
It takes a while to cook down. Mine took around 45 minutes, but it will vary depending on the apples you use and your cooking elevation. Stir every few minutes. When you see a chance in consistency, check the apples with a fork. You are looking for a mushy apple that offers no resistance. Once it is soft, you will transfer the apples to a blender. Leave the stove going.
Pulse the apples down to make a smooth blend.
You will want to stir constantly at this point to avoid scorching. You are looking to see any liquids cook down and the sauce to thicken. This took about 10 minutes for me. Remove from heat and allow to cool. It will continue to thicken as it cools. From there you are free to serve or transfer to storage containers. I put mine in pint mason jars to store in the freezer.
A Delicious Tropical Twist on a Traditional Favorite
I am delighted with how this recipe turned out. It is a perfect blend of flavors, sweetness and acidity. It is fabulous on bread, but can also be a topping on ice cream, added to smoothies, used as a dip for apples or on crackers. This recipe is also a wonderful way to utilize apples that are going soft. Since this recipe cans beautifully, you can easily turn this into a long term storage option.
Let me know how this recipe turned out for you!
White Pineapple Apple Butter
- Blender or Food Processor
- 2 lbs Apples (approx 6-7 medium apples) sliced or cubed
- 1 Pineapple chunks or rings, can substitute with 1 large can
- 1 cup Coconut Sugar or Sucanat
- 1-1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon ground
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Sea salt ground
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg ground
- 1/4 tsp Cloves ground
- Add fruit and spice ingredients (reserving sugar and vanilla for later) to a saucepan or dutch oven. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 1 hour, stirring regularly (every few minutes). A wooden spoon is recommended due to the acidity of the pineapple.
- When the fruit has completely softened (you can test with a fork, when you have no resistance it is ready), spoon mixture into a blender of food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Pour the mixture back into the pan, add sugar and bring back to a simmer. This is when the mixture will thicken. Watch the pot, stirring constantly to ensure that it does not scorch or bubble. When the sauce is thick and there is no liquid left in the pan, remove from heat. Add vanilla extract. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Allow to cool. Pour the mixture into a storage container and or into a prepared canning jar, if you plan to can it for long term storage. Pineapple Apple Butter can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks or in the freezer for 4-6 months.