is a highly concentrated form of applesauce,
produced by long, slow cooking of apples
or water to a point where the sugar
in the apples caramelizes.
The concentration of sugar gives apple butter a much
longer shelf life as a preserve
than applesauce. It was a popular way of using apples in
colonial America, and well into the 19th century. The term
"butter" refers to the thick, soft consistency,
and its use as a spread for breads. Typically seasoned
and other spices,
apple butter may be used as a side dish, an ingredient in
baked goods, or as a condiment.
Dutch often include it as part of their traditional seven
sweets and seven sours dinner table array.
In areas of the
American South, the production of apple butter is a family
event, due to the large amount of labor necessary to
produce apple butter in large quantities. It is also used
on a sandwich
to add an interesting flavor, but is not as commonly used
as in historical times.