A Love for Apple Butter - Postcards from the Bench

September 11, 2023



The richer, glossier, spreadable cousin to applesauce, apple butter embodies all things fall – crisp apples, warm spices, and caramelized flavors. A seasonal staple that consumers continue to love, apple butter’s rustic comfort is a delicious expression of the hand-made, hand-crafted movement growing in both at-home and professional kitchens.


Prior to becoming a food scientist at McCormick, I was a chef at a James Beard Award restaurant group where I witnessed first-hand this ever-evolving obsession in personally crafting and perfecting a signature food or ingredient as the best-tasting, high-quality expression of oneself – like apple butter. Working with farmers in the Mid-Atlantic, apple butter was one of the many preservation techniques for the abundance of apples during harvesting season in the fall. Cooking down apples low and slow with warm spices results in this amazing, caramelized product that is a must-have table condiment for everything from pancakes and waffles to a grilled pork-chop dinner.


Inspired by this process and the potential versatility an apple butter profile could deliver in seasoning form, I utilized the following flavors:


  • Apple Pie Liquid Flavor Type Natural
  • Flavor Cap Brown Butter FL Type Natural
  • Flavor Cap Spent Vanilla
  • Flavor Cap Apple Pie Spice Blend


In addition, I wanted to infuse a bit of heat, so rather than the standard spices like ginger or nutmeg, I layered chili heat to elevate the flavor complexity. With an upfront sweetness, middle spice that transitions to mild heat, and a lingering brown sweetness, this seasoning is the perfect answer for baked goods, desserts, dairy, and drinks – or maybe even the flavor of the next “pumpkin spice latte.”


Feeling inspired? To apply innovative flavor like apple butter, get in touch with McCormick. Contact us today. 

Order your free flavor sample here.

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What does true partnership look like? You deserve a flavor partner ready to turn these trends into the tangible.

Let McCormick FONA’s market insight and research experts get to work for you. Translate these trends into bold new ideas for your brand. Increase market share and get to your “what’s next.” Our technical flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. Let’s mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here for you — every step of the way.

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