Apple butter is a sweet preserve that is simple to make from fresh apples or unsweetened applesauce. Homemade apple butter is full of flavor and does not contain the preservatives found in store-purchased preserves. One recipe of apple butter yields approximately nine pints of preserves that will store for two months in a refrigerator or freezer. Process the preserves with a hot water canner to increase the shelf life up to 18 to 24 months.
Wash the apples well, peel off the skins and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1-inch pieces and place them into a Crock-pot.
Add 4 cups of the sugar, apple juice, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Add one extra cup of sugar instead of apple juice if using applesauce. Mix all ingredients well.
Cover the crock-pot and turn it to the low setting. Cook the apple butter for 8 to 10 hours, or overnight.
Open the cover after cooking for eight hours and stir the contents. Taste the apple butter and add more spices if needed. Cover the Crock-pot and cook for an additional three to four hours uncovered to thicken the apple butter.
Pour the apple butter into clean glass jars once it reaches a desired thickness. Seal the jars with a screw-top lid and store the apple butter in a refrigerator for two to three months.
Process the apple butter with a hot water canner to preserve the jars for up to 18 months. Follow the canner instructions for processing canned preserves based on your altitude. Pint-sized jars require boiling for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the geographical altitude.