Breakfast & Desserts/ Jams & Preserves/ Russian Monday

Russian Monday: “Povidlo” – Vanilla Apple Butter

“Povidlo”– Apple Butter is cooked from fruit or berry puree with sugar. Once fully cooked good povidlo looks like a homogeneous mass of brownish or dark golden color. In Russia, Povidlo is known for a very long time. One of the first mentions of povidlo occurs in the annals describing treats of the princely table. Povidlo is typically made from apples (the most popular one), plums, apricots, pears, strawberry and various combinations of fruits and berries. I would like to present here an easy and delicious recipe of vanilla-apple butter which you and your loved ones will definitely enjoy. It can be used as pancakes filling or as spread for your bun or toast to be had with a cup of tea or glass of milk.

For more Russian recipes, visit Russian Cuisine page.

The delicate flavor of apples is enhanced by vanilla in this butter that really captures the essence of the fruit. It is well worth allowing it to mature for a few days before eating.

“Povidlo” – Vanilla Apple Butter

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Makes about 4 lb.


  • 2 cups (475ml) apple cider
  • 2 lb. a mix of apples, tart and sweet, peeled, cored and sliced
  • grated rind and juice of one lemon
  • 3 1/2 cups (1 1/2 lb.) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract ( but better to use 1 vanilla bean, split)



Pour the cider into a large pan and bring to the boil. Boil hard until the value is reduced by half, then add the apples and lemon rind and juice.


Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes, or until the apples are very soft.


Leave the mixture to cool slightly, then pour into a food processor or blender and blend to a puree. Press through a fine sieve into a bowl.


In a large heavy pan mix together the apple mixture, sugar, and vanilla. Gently heat the mixture, stirring continuously, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat and boil steadily for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture forms a thick puree that holds its shape when spooned on to a cold plate.


Spoon the apple and vanilla butter into warmed sterilized jars. Seal and label, then store to allow the flavors to develop before serving.


If you are using the vanilla bean, carefully scrape the seeds into the apple mixture using the tip of a knife.

Apple butter in glass jar with fresh apples and berries on a table

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  • Reply
    October 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I used to have it on white bread with butter.. 🙂 yummy!

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    October 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I bet it is delicious Yelena!
    Glad you received that lovely tea also!

  • Reply
    Rosa's Yummy Yums
    October 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Delicious! Perfect with rice pudding.



  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    October 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I made some applesauce yesterday and been thinking to make a batch of apple butter..and now I see your beautiful recipe….fantastic!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I love simple recipes that promise all different kinds of uses. I can see this drizzled into yoghurt, dripped on porridge, spread between cake layers and baked into cakes. A delicious jar of possibilities preserved for when you need them the most. Golden gorgeousness Yelena 🙂

  • Reply
    October 14, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Yelena, this post and recipe took my breath away! Gorgeous photos that make me want to escape to an orchard and I can not wait to make this apple butter! oxox

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