Yield: 4 pints
- Tart cooking apples: 4 1/2 Pounds
- Apple cider or apple juice: 4 Cups
- Sugar: 2 Cups
- Ground cinnamon: 1 1/2 Teaspoons
- Ground allspice: 1/2 Teaspoons
- Ground cloves: 1/4 Teaspoons
Wash, core, and quarter apples. In an 8- or 10-quart Dutch oven or kettle combine apples and cider or apple juice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
Place a food mill over a large bowl. Ladle the cooked apples and the cooking liquid into the food mill and press the mixture into the bowl. If you don’t have a food mill, place a large sieve over a large bowl. Use the back of the spoon to press the mixture into the bowl. Measure 9-1/2 cups of this mixture. If you have leftover apple mixture, simply chill and serve as applesauce.
Return the 9-1/2 cups of the mixture to the Dutch oven. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Bring this mixture to boiling then reduce the heat. Cook, uncovered, over very low heat, about 1-1/2 hours or until the mixture is very thick. The mixture should be the consistency of very thick applesance. Stir often to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the Dutch oven.
To fill the jars, place a wide-mouth plastic funnel in a hot, clean jar. Ladle apple butter into the hot jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove the funnel; wipe off the jar rim with a clean, damp towel (any food left on the rim will prevent a perfect seal). Postion the prepared lid and screw band on the jar and tighten according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Place each jar into boiling water in hot-water canner as it is filled. Place the jars so they do not touch one another. Cover the canner. Begin processing time when the water returns to boiling. Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes for pints or 5 minutes for half-pints. Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Makes 4 pints or 8 half-pints (fifty-six, 1-tablespoon servings).
When the jars have cooled, press the center of each lid to check the seal. If the dip in the lid holds, the jar is sealed. If the lid bounces up and down, the jar isn’t sealed. Unsealed jars should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 2 weeks. Label the sealed jars with content and date. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
Freezer directions: Place Dutch oven or kettle in a sink filled with ice water to cool apple butter. Spoon cooled mixture into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace for wide-top containers or 3/4-inch headspace for narrow-top containers. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 10 months.