recanning apple butter

Our church family makes apple butter each fall. The canned apple butter is sold to raise money for mission projects.

making apple butter

DH brought home four quart jars, like this one.

apple butter

I decided to recan it in 8-oz. jelly jars. A better size for us. The only issue with recanning is to be sure the apple butter is heated to 212*F before filling the jars. So we poured the apple butter into a large pot. The larger the better, as the apple butter will sputter and splash when it boils. NOT fun to have it sputter and splash on your bare arm. Ask me how I know…

apple butter

The emptied jars were placed upside-down in a container so the last bits of sticky goodness could drain out and be added to the cooking pot.

apple butter

When canning, set up the entire process before you begin. Once started, you need to keep moving.

recanning apple butter

Then it was time to stir, stir, stir as the apple butter heated to the necessary 212*F.

recanning apple butter

With one load in the canner, I waited till it was almost done before filling the jars for the next load.

recanning apple butter

I processed the jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Now we have some nice sized jars for ourselves and some for gifts at Christmas.

recanning apple butter

Doesn’t it look delicious? I can tell you…it is!

apple butter



  1. Rhonda C
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you soo much!! My daughter wants to give away apple butter as wedding thank you gifts. I
    dont really have time to make it from scratch, and it’s quite expensive too. I am thinking of buying large bulk jars of apple butter, and pouring it into 1/2 pint jars. I believe it will save alot of time, and possible a little money too. I am going to test a few 🙂

  2. Posted April 10, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Rhonda, that sounds like a good solution! It worked well for me. And it’s something you can do well ahead of time. Have fun planning the wedding! ~~Rhonda

  3. Theresa
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I just made 90 jars for my daugher’s wedding. Took all day but was easy. I used the crockpot recipe but used store bought apple sauce and then put in 4 ounce jelly jars. I am going to make another batch this weekend of cherry apple butter and then I will be done. I think it might be just as easy to make with the apple sauce as it is to take out of the bigger jars and put in the smaller ones. Mixing it all up was nothing, the time was just that it needed 6-8 hours in the crockpot. Most of the time is in the actual sterilization of the jars/lids then filling and hot bath. Good Luck!

  4. Kristine
    Posted October 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    How old was the apple butter when you re-canned it? I have a batch that I made and I’m not happy with the consistency…so I googled can I re-can apple butter and your site came up. I was thinking God cooking it down some more and re canning it…but it’s about 4 weeks old now. Do you think that would be ok?

  5. Posted October 21, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Kristine, if your first batch has been processed and sealed, yes, it should be fine to open them even after four weeks and redo them.

    Be sure to bring the apple butter up to 212*F before filling the jars. If your first batch was too runny for your preference, the process of cooking it down will take care of that. Be careful, it does pop and splash as it boils. That can cause a nasty burn if it lands on your skin. A slow, low boil is all it takes.

    Process for the recommended time at your elevation. Here’s a site with a chart.

    Good luck! I hope it works well for you! ~~Rhonda

  6. Maureen K. Cosentin
    Posted November 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    What if the apple butter is too think? Can I take it out, add more juice or cider then reheat to 212?

  7. Posted November 12, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Maureen, yes, you can add liquid to make it thinner. Just a little at a time. It should be thick enough to spread on bread. ~~Rhonda 🙂

  8. Jennifer
    Posted June 5, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I made sugar free apple butter with stevia and the spices I use. Since the recipe i normally use in the crock pot takes 22 hours total and a lot of sugar, the sugar free batch with a little stevia and spices tasted good but was too thick. I canned in January (we had late apple season due to so much rain). Can I recan with more liquid to thin it out?

  9. Posted June 7, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Jennifer, I would think you could recan the apple butter, but a better option may be to just add a little liquid to the jar as you open one for use. Apple cider or apple juice would work. Maybe a spoonful of applesauce would do the trick Even water, if you just want to thin the apple butter a bit. Before you go to the trouble and work of recanning, try adding a little liquid to an opened jar and see if that works for you. I have never had that problem to resolve, so would like to hear how it works out for you. 🙂

  10. Lisa
    Posted November 7, 2022 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    My apple butter is too runny after canning it, Waiting 48 hours still runny can I rebook & add a slurry to thicken it.
    I cooked it in sliw cooker for 10 hours in slow cooker with lid on. Then took lid off for 2 1/2 hours.
    Thought it would thicken once cooled.

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