Harvesting apples and preparing apple butter takes a lot of time and effort. The end results are delicious, but the extra step of canning might push the entire process into the realm of the impossible for time-pressed individuals. Freezing apple butter helps preserve its deliciousness just as well, but takes less time.
Freezing apple butter is a way to preserve it after making a large batch. Canning is perhaps the more well-known option, but freezing can work well for those who would rather spend less time preserving their food and more time enjoying it.
Apple butter should be frozen as soon as it has cooled to room temperature. To make apple butter, it must be cooked either on a stove top or in a microwave. Once it cools to room temperature, it should immediately be frozen in freezer-safe, airtight containers. Tuck plastic wrap down onto the surface of the apple butter inside the container, as this will help avoid freezer burn.
Apple butter takes quite a lot of time to make, particularly if cooked on a stove top. Those making apple butter and freezing it should set aside enough time to accomplish both tasks. That includes necessary cooling time between cooking and freezing. Placing hot items in a freezer is unsafe and unsanitary, as it can partially thaw other items in the freezer and lower them down to temperatures where bacteria can breed.
In addition to the time savings, freezing apple butter eliminates the need to purchase specialty canning equipment such as jars, lids and rings. Instead, any freezer-safe container can be used, even freezer-safe zip-top storage bags. Flavor and texture do not suffer when the apple butter is thawed for later use.
Frozen apple butter can make a wonderful gift during the holidays. Take that purpose into consideration when choosing containers to freeze the apple butter in. Additionally, frozen apple butter should be thawed in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours prior to gift-giving. If the recipient knows she's receiving it and plans to put the apple butter in the freezer as well, the defrosting step is not necessary.