Canning apple butter is surprisingly simple and so incredibly yummy. In this post I will give you my recipe and show you exactly how to make it step by step.
You’re about to learn a delicious way to use up the extra apples from your tree, the orchard, or the grocery store. Below I’ll show you how simple canning apple butter is.
Canned apple butter the perfect accompaniment to a meal, especially in the fall or during the holidays, and it also makes a great gift for special occasions.
It’s easier to make than you might think, and will last for a few years. All you’ll need are a couple of common ingredients and some basic equipment, and you’re ready to go.
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What Kinds Of Apples Are Best For This Recipe?
Soft fruits are the best kind to use for this apple butter recipe, because they cook fast and break down easily for canning.
Some good varieties include Braeburn, Gayla, Cortland, Fuji, Cameo, McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Grimes Golden, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Gravenstein.
Apple Butter Recipe For Canning
This canned apple butter recipe is sweet with a hint of a warm spice from the cinnamon. To me it tastes like the essence of fall.
But it’s also great to have on hand all year round, and there are many wonderful ways to use it.
Spread it on toast, crackers, or pancakes, stir it into your oatmeal or any other foods you want, and you could even use it for baking.
Ingredients For Canning Apple Butter
This apple butter recipe is simple, and I created it specifically for canning. You only need 5 ingredients, which you probably already have on hand.
- Apples – A softer variety will work best because it creates a smoother texture and sweeter flavor that will slowly caramelize as you cook it, due to the natural sugars.
- Water – Cooks down the apples, which aids in creating the smooth butter consistency that we’re looking for.
- Sugar – The brown and cane sugars enhance the flavor, thicken the texture, and help the fruits break down and caramelize. You can substitute with an alternative such as stevia or honey, or completely omit it from this recipe.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon compliments the sweetness and increases the flavor by giving it a slightly spicier profile. You could substitute for cardamom, allspice, or cloves, or completely omit it if you prefer.
Canning Apple Butter Without Sugar
While sugar does help stabilize this apple butter recipe for canning, the fruits themselves contain a lot of it already. This means that if you don’t want to add any extra, you don’t have to.
Most people like to add it for the taste, so you could use substitutes like an artificial sweetener or honey instead.
Stevia in particular is good for this because it’s very stable at much higher temperatures.
If you choose not to use sugar, be prepared for yours to taste a bit tangier rather than sweet. The texture may be slightly different as well.
Related Post: How To Can Apples
Tips For Canning Apple Butter
While this is pretty simple and straightforward, there are a few additional tips I wanted to give you so that you’re sure to have the best success making it.
- It will naturally thicken as you cook it. If yours is too soupy or thin, cook it longer to allow more of the water to evaporate.
- If it’s too thick for your liking, you can thin it out with a bit of apple sauce or a tiny amount of water. Add a small amount at a time until it’s the consistency you want.
- While omitting the sugars is an option, they do help to thicken the puree. Alternatively, you could use a small amount of tapioca starch if yours is too watery.
Processing Canned Apple Butter
Water bath canning is safe to use for this apple butter recipe because the fruits are naturally acidic, so there’s no need for a pressure canner.
The standard processing time is 15 minutes, although you may need to adjust this if you live at a higher altitude.
Tools & Equipment Needed
Below is a list of items you’ll need. If you gather everything before you start, it will make the process easier. You can see my full list of tools and supplies here.
- Water bath canner
- Half pint jars
- New jar lids
- Veggie peeler
- Apple corer OR a corer/slicer
- Paring knife
- High-speed blender OR an immersion blender
- Canning funnel
- Measuring spoons
- Bubble remover tool
- Jar lifting tool
- Dissolvable labels OR use a permanent marker
How To Store Canned Apple Butter
You should store your canned apple butter in a cool, dry place away from direct light, such as a kitchen cabinet, basement, or cellar.
But first, check each of your jars to ensure the lid has a tight seal. If any of them are loose, then put those into your fridge and use them up first.
How Long Does Canned Apple Butter Last?
As long as you follow my recipe and instructions and store it properly, your canned apple butter will last for up to 2 years. If you omit the sugar, it will be shelf stable for about 12 months.
Have more questions before you’re ready to get started? Here are some of the most common ones that others have asked.
Does canned apple butter need to be refrigerated?
Canned apple butter does not need to be refrigerated as long as the lids have a tight seal. However, you will need to put it into the fridge after you open the jars (that is if you don’t eat it all right away!).
How do I thicken apple butter for canning?
In order to thicken apple butter for canning, you need to cook it long enough for the liquids evaporate. Adding sugar will help it thicken faster.
Do you need to add lemon juice when canning apple butter?
No, you do not need to add lemon juice when canning apple butter because the apples are naturally acidic.
I hope that this tutorial inspired you to try canning your own apple butter. This is one of the simplest and most delicious recipes, so I’m sure you will enjoy it.
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More Food Canning Posts
- How To Can Strawberries
- How To Can Cherry Tomatoes
- How To Can Pears
- Canning Blueberries: Easy Recipe
- How To Can Strawberry Jam (With Recipe!)
- How To Can Blueberry Jam (With Recipe!)
More About Apples
- How To Store Apples For The Short & Long Term
- How To Preserve Apples For Long Term Use
- How To Dehydrate Apples: 5 Simple Drying Methods
- Easy Healthy Apple Muffins Recipe
Share your tips for how to can apple butter in the comments section below.