Oh, apple butter, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways!
Apple butter is truly one of nature’s delights. Made almost exclusively from the fruit, in its final, spreadable form, it glides on as smooth as butter without the dairy.
Hints of warmth on the palate from cinnamon and clove make it ideal for breakfast staples like bagels or toast. It’s also perfect as an ingredient for sweets like cake or even in savory dinner recipes like pork chops.
If you love it like I do, there’s almost no limit to the creative ways it can be used in the kitchen.
But as much as we might love it, there could come a time when we just have a little too much on hand and have to figure out what to do with the rest. If you’ve got a small amount leftover, tossing it in the fridge is a good option since it can easily last for weeks.
Otherwise, if you want to store it for longer periods without canning it, then freezing might make sense, but can you even do it?
Yes, you can freeze both homemade and store-bought apple butter for up to a year or longer, assuming you’ve prepared it properly.
Whether you’ve made a nice, big batch from scratch or have a large amount of store-bought apple butter sitting around, then we’ll answer all your questions about freezing it, the best way to go about doing it, defrosting it and much more!
Does Apple Butter Freeze Well?
Yes, both homemade and store-bought brands of apple butter freeze well.
Even when frozen for long periods of a year or more, you shouldn’t notice much change from its original taste and texture, assuming you’ve prepped and stored it properly.
The most important thing to remember about freezing store bought apple butter is that you’ll need to transfer it to a freezer-safe container (plastic or glass) from the original jar.
How to Freeze Apple Butter
You’ve made your first batch of homemade apple butter, and it turned out perfectly. Everyone loved it!
However, you soon find yourself with one small problem – lots and lots of leftover apple butter.
You could certainly toss a portion of it in the fridge, but what if that still leaves a large amount? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered!
All you need is some prep time, suitable storage container and you’re good to go.
How Will You Use Your Apple Butter Once You Thaw It?
This step might seem like overkill, but if you give it some thought, it isn’t.
Of course, you could just spoon your entire batch (or jar) into a freezer-safe container and be done with it, but what are the chances you’ll eat the entire thing when you defrost it?
In the next step, we’ll talk more about why this is a useful approach to take since it can save you lots of time in the future.
Divide It up According to Your Needs
The thing to understand about apple butter is that it will freeze solid.
This is the main reason deciding on portion sizes ahead of time is so helpful. So, take a moment to really think about how you’re most likely to use it and freeze it with that use in mind.
For example, if you think you’ll be using it as an ingredient, it might make sense to store it in larger portions suitable for baking. However, if you think you’ll just be using it for breakfast or an occasional treat, portion it with smaller servings might be more appropriate.
Whatever you decide is what works best for you – there is no right or wrong!
|Deciding portion sizes ahead of time
|Deciding on the portion sizes of the apple butter before freezing it.
|Can save time in the future, can ensure that you use the apple butter in the way it’s intended
|Dividing it up according to your needs
|Dividing the apple butter according to how it will be used once thawed.
|Can ensure that the apple butter is used in the way it’s intended
Container Options for Freezing Apple Butter
The best choices for freezing apple butter are to use variations of plastic or glass. We’ll cover the options we think work best so you can be sure your apple butter will be just as tasty as the day you popped it in the freezer.
A Quick Note About Freezing Store Bought Apple Butter
If you’re thinking about freezing store bought apple butter, it’s best not to freeze it in the original jar.
Most jars used in the commercial production of apple butter are not suitable for freezing. Being thinner, as the apple butter hardens in the freezer, the glass can crack or sometimes, shatter, which leaves you with a big mess and inedible apple butter!
Instead, consider using one of the suggestions below. Using any one of them will go a long way toward ensuring your apple butter will last as long as possible and remain safe in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it.
Individual Airtight Plastic Containers
The size and shape of the container are really up to you. So long as you have the ability to seal it completely, that’s the most important thing. Apple butter will expand slightly as it freezes, so leave some room near the lid so the container remains sealed tight.
Glass (Mason) Jars
Mason jars are a terrific option for freezing your apple butter since they tolerate cold temperatures very well.
The most important thing about using mason jars is ensuring that they’re clean prior to spooning in your apple butter. Simply run them in your dishwasher using the sanitize cycle or boil the jars prior to use. Either of these methods will reduce the chances that contaminants could be introduced to your apple butter and increase the chances of spoilage.
Freezer bags can also work as an option, but it can be a bit more challenging to seal them properly.
Take care not to remove all the air from the bag as you add the apple butter and seal it firmly. As with plastic containers, leave a little room for the apple butter to expand and fill the bag without compromising the seal.
P.S. Don’t Forget to Label!
While this might seem like common sense, it’s an all too easy step to overlook.
The last thing you want to do is go through the trouble of properly storing your apple butter and then have no idea how long it’s been in there when the time comes to use it.
Simply note the date you slipped it in the freezer and you’re done.
|Individual Airtight Plastic Containers
|Can be sealed completely, flexible in size and shape
|Seal can be compromised if overfilled
|Glass (Mason) Jars
|Tolerate cold temperatures well, easy to clean
|Need to be cleaned properly to avoid contamination
|Convenient, easy to store
|Can be challenging to seal properly
How Do You Thaw Frozen Apple Butter?
Defrosting apple butter is even simpler than prepping, packing it and labeling it for the freezer.
The thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to rush the thawing process if you can help it. Rather, simply transfer whatever apple butter you want to use to the fridge and leave it there to defrost for about twenty-four hours or until its original consistency has returned.
You might find that you need to give it a quick stir to achieve this, which is perfectly fine.
Can You Refreeze Apple Butter?
Yes, you can refreeze apple butter.
However, when you repeat freezing and thawing cycles, it is possible that the texture of the apple butter might change with time.
While it’s unlikely to negatively affect the flavor, you might find that the apple butter starts to have a more watery texture. This is less of a problem when you’re using it as an ingredient, but if you regularly use apple butter as a spread or topping, it could lose some of its normally smooth texture.
I’m Griffin and I make my living as a freelance writer and wannabe sci fi author. Besides my obsession with words, I have a few others which may or may not include craft beer, backcountry hikes and spending time with loved ones – preferably in that order. Thanks for checking out my work and I hope you enjoy it!