What’s the Difference Between Stewed Apple and Apple Butter?

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Stewed apple is the star dessert of an Irish childhood (along with Irish Bread and Butter Pudding).  Apples were one ingredient that were easy to get hold of in Ireland – you could buy them in the local shop or rob them from an orchard – and they were naturally sweet so you could cook them for dessert or to eat with roast pork without having to add any other ingredient. Apple Butter is effectively the same, except that the apples are cooked long and slow until they turn a burnished gold. It is thicker than stewed apple, tighter in texture and whereas stewed apple is soft and luscious and almost runny, ideal to stir into yogurt or custard, apple butter is more like a preserve to spread on a slice of toast. We show you how to make both.

Stewed Apple recipe (see our image above)


6 sweet apples, peeled and cored and cut into rough chunks (use Gala, Jazz, Pink Lady for example)
150ml water


1. Add the ingredients to a saucepan and cook for 15-25 minutes or until the apples are soft and the mixture is not too liquid – if you like texture and chunks of apple cook it for less time, for a smoother texture cook it for longer.

To Make Apple Butter in a Thermomix
Place 6 peeled, cored and roughly chopped apples into the thermomix bowl with 150ml cold water. Cook at speed 2 / 20 minutes / 100°. Blitz at speed 5 until smooth. Then cook at speed 1 / 30 minutes / 100 degrees.

Photography copyright foodpixies.com

Apple Butter Recipe
Do exactly the same as above but cook the apples over a low heat for up to an hour or until the apples have given up their liquid and condensed down into a creamy-textured fruit butter. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn or catch. You need to watch it. Cool and store in the fridge for up to a week in a sealed jar or covered bowl.
If you use cooking apples which are sour instead of eating apples which are naturally sweet add a few tablespoons of sugar to taste.

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