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Applesauce Vs Apple Butter: What’s The Difference?

Food & Recipes, Blog

You’ve just brought home a haul of Galas, Honeycrisps, or Golden Delicious from the orchard or supermarket produce section, and want to extend their lives and make them even tastier. Does apple butter or applesauce make the best choice? What is the difference between applesauce and apple butter? Find out the facts about these autumnal all-stars.

What Is Applesauce?

It’s a semi-solid sauce made from apples, some liquid (like water or cider), warm spices, and sugar, if you want. To make applesauce, cook the all the ingredients together until soft, then mash or puree the fruit.

If you prefer, you can puree it or leave it chunky, and you can scent it with vanilla, citrus, or maple.

As compared to apple butter, applesauce is lighter in consistency and flavor since it contains more water. As a result, you’ll want to use flavoring elements in smaller amounts.

It all boils down to (sorry, couldn’t resist!) how much pectin is in apple skins and flesh. As you simmer them, the pectin is emitted and forms a gel. As applesauce cooks for a shorter period of time than apple butter, the result is mostly apples and a bit of jelly.

The use of applesauce recipes in America can range from sweet to savory. You can serve it alongside potato latkes or pork chops if you’re Team Savory. If Team Sweet is more your style, add it to oatmeal or cake batter.

What Is Apple Butter?

The same ingredients are used in both apple butter and applesauce (liquid, flavoring elements, and sweetener). Apple butter differs from sauce in that it requires a much longer cooking time.

What’s the result? Caramel-colored, thicker, concentrated-in-flavor, and spreadable “jam” that’s more similar in consistency to butter.

Apple butter contains no butter, despite its name. The name comes from the fact that it is a dense spread.

Many people serve it warm, giving it a slightly looser consistency, while others eat it straight from the refrigerator. The flavors are often more intense than in applesauce, making apple butter an ideal complement to hearty, nutty breads and strong cheeses.

We also have compiled a guide that will help you choose apples for applesauce, if you are looking for the best one. 

Is It Possible to Use Them Interchangeably?

In order to remember the difference, we like to think of apple butter as applesauce intensified. Or applesauce squared up, and with a more solid texture.

In the end, both applesauce and apple butter can be substituted in baking recipes – especially when some of the butter, oil, or eggs are replaced with applesauce or apple butter. 

Is It Possible to Make Apple Butter from Applesauce?

Though we prefer to start from scratch, you can definitely make apple butter from store-bought applesauce simmered down into a thicker form. Add more spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and/or cloves and cook it until it reaches your desired flavor and density.

How to Make Applesauce in A Slow Cooker

For slow cooker applesauce, you need apples, peeled (or not) and cored, water, and sugar. It might be a spice or two. Cook this mixture until the apples are very soft, then mash them. That’s it. Voila, you have applesauce.

Can You Make Apple Butter in A Slow Cooker?

Typical ingredients for slow cooker apple butter are apples, peeled (or not), apple juice or cider, sweetener, and spices. After cooking in the crock pot for several hours and passing it through a food mill, continue to cook in the slow cooker with the lid off for several hours until some of the water evaporates and the flavor intensifies.

Can You Make Apple Butter or Applesauce in A Pressure Cooker?

Make your apple-y treats in your Instant Pot or another pressure cooker, if you wish. You will need to continue cooking your apple butter by using the saute setting after you release the pressure since an Instant Pot will not allow your apple butter to reduce (because it is under pressure and no steam can escape) once you release the pressure.

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