Forgive me if this topic has already been dealt with but my search did not come up with anything and I am desperate!
I think you’re unnecessarily worried about canning. I would make the apple butter and pack it into re-usable canning jars (buy some if you don’t already have them) that have been very well washed and rinsed in hot water. Keep them warm so they don’t crack when you fill them with the hot apple butter. Screw on new lids and place in a boiling water bath for about 5 minutes.
I second Nyleve’s post. Canning is really not hard, and doesn’t actually require special equipment. Just a big soup pot, some tongs, and a good oven glove.
But I’ve also simply frozen apple butter in freezer bags, and it’s fine. It loses some of it’s thick, rich texture, so I usually defrost it, then return it to the crockpot for a couple of hours before jarring it for storage in the fridge.
But for the last few years, I’ve been canning without the water bath – know, I know…it’s risky and not recommended – by simply boiling my jars and rings, filling them with the hot (almost boiling) apple butter, and then sealing them up. It’s really just laziness that I don’t just toss them back in the boiling water for the final water bath…
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