Canning 101: How to Make Apple, Banana and Pumpkin Butters

Homemade Sweet Apple Butter with Cinnamon | Brent Hofacker

During the fall months, I look forward to going to our local orchard and purchasing some fresh fruits and vegetables. After I get home, I enjoy getting out my water bath canner and canning supplies, and making up a few batches of various butters.

Canning is a lot easier than it sounds and making butters is great for beginners. You can find various cookbooks out in the marketplace or you can search various online websites for instructions on how to do water bath canning.

I like to process my butters in 4 ounce sized canning (mason) jars, but if you have a larger family, you can certainly use the 8 ounce size. You always want to start out with good quality fruits and/or vegetables and use clean, sterilized mason jars which are specifically manufactured for home canning.

Here are the 3 recipes that my family enjoys making.

Apple Butter

16 cups applesauce

1/2 cup vinegar

3 lb. granulated sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, combine all of the above ingredients together, stirring well. Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish. Place dish in a preheated oven at 300 degrees and bake for 3 hours. Remove mixture from oven and ladle into hot, clean and sterilized canning jars. Process jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Banana Butter

3 cup bananas, about 8 to 10 bananas

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup maraschino cherries, finely chopped

6 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 (6 ounce) bottle liquid pectin

Peel and slice bananas into a large bowl. Using a masher, mash bananas down. Measure out 3 cups of banana pulp and place into a large saucepan. Stir in the lemon juice, chopped cherries and granulated sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the liquid pectin. Ladle into clean, hot jars. Process jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Butter

3 1/2 cups fresh mashed pumpkin or canned pumpkin purée

2 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 lemon, juice and grated rind

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup tap water

Tip: If using fresh pumpkin, mix with brown sugar, lemon juice, ground ginger, cinnamon and allspice in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature 8 hours or overnight.

Transfer to a large stock pot, add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat, stirring often, for 40 to 60 minutes, to desired consistency. (With canned pumpkin, mix ingredients in large saucepan; bring to a boil and simmer on low about 20 minutes, to thicken.) Pour mixture into hot canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Ladle into clean, hot jars. Process jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Shelly Hill has been working from home in Direct Sales since 1989 and is a manager with Tupperware. Shelly enjoys cooking, baking and canning foods for her family and friends. You can visit Shelly online at or her recipe blog at for additional free canning recipes.

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