I made homemade apple butter for the first time! And I even canned it myself!
I made it in the crock pot using this recipe (but with half the sugar) and then used this page for instructions on how to can it.
The verdict? Apple butter is delicious and VERY easy to make—even for a newbie like me.
I just prepared an apple sauce the evening before, dumped it in the crock along with some cinnamon, cloves, sugar, and salt in the morning, and when I came home from work, my apple butter was almost finished. It just needed to simmer in the pot on high for one more hour.
The canning on the other hand was not so easy. I had never canned anything before, and I didn't have the right supplies. I figured, eh, I'll manage.
Bad idea. I definitely needed a wire rack for my pot to avoid upsetting the lids of the jars as I was lifting them out of the boiling water. I also needed some sort of funnel. I made a HUGE mess pouring the apple butter into the jars.
All said and done, though, I was successful and now have tons of delicious apple butter. And once it's all gone, I can re-use my jars again and again (which will hopefully help me get better and more efficient at canning). Yay!
Note: If you want to skip the canning stage, you can always make your jam and freeze in in freezer-safe Ball jars. It can't get any easier!