Skip To Content

Rosh Hashanah Canning: Honey Apple Butter

Over the last year my boyfriend Uriel and I — like so many other members of our generation — have become avid canners. Our experiments with blueberries, peaches, and rhubarb have resulted in stacks of colorful Ball jars lining our countertops.

As the waning summer limits the availability of berries and empty counter space becomes a valuable commodity, it’s hard to justify making more jam. The jams will stay unspoiled for a year and there’s a limit to how much we can eat. But I’m not quite ready to put my canning tools away.

On a recent drive from Pittsburgh to Washington DC, I convinced Uriel that we should pick apples along the way and make apple butter for our mothers for Rosh Hashanah. It was, I insisted, a win-win. We wouldn’t miss out on fall canning; and it would be a heartfelt New Year’s present. At the orchard we filled a bushel sized basket for only $7! It seemed like a great price for a bushel, but we were unaware that there were over 100 medium-sized apples in our basket.

When we got home, we broke out the cookbooks. To my dismay, our cursory recipe review revealed that we would have to peel the apples, a tedious and time consuming task that I desperately hoped we could avoid.

I immediately got to work peeling apples. About 15 apples in, we had a basic idea for how to make apple butter, but none of the recipes we found excited us. We wanted to bottle the essence of Rosh Hashanah, and all of the recipes lacked honey. So we improvised, figuring that after a season of practice, we were no longer canning newbies.

We were rewarded for taking a risk. Our customized recipe, which has less cinnamon and cloves than most and substitutes honey for the majority of the sugar, turned out superbly. After the apples stewed overnight, I awoke in an autumn-scented apartment. The apple butter served as the perfect end to our first year as canners and sweet way to bring in the New Year.

Rosh Hashanah Apple Butter Recipe

Makes 4 pints

10 pounds apples — peeled, cored, and chopped
2 cups apple cider
1 cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt

1) Put all of the ingredients in a slow cooker on high for 1 hour.*

2) Reduce slow cooker to low and let it cook overnight (or 7-9 more hours).

3) Blend the apple mixture, either in the slow cooker with an immersion blender or transfer batches of the apple mixture to a food processor or blender.

4) Pour apple butter mixture into sterilized jars and screw on the lids.

5) To seal the jars, place them in boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove the jars and let them sit on the counter overnight.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.