Summary: Absolutely delicious! This recipe comes from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff.
- 6 pounds apples, cored and peeled only if necessary (see note), cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 c apple cider or water
- ~1½ cups sugar
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- Put the apples in a 6- to 8-quart stock pot. Add the cider and 4 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the apples are completely broken down and the peels have separated from the pulp, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Pass the mixture through a Squeezo strainer or food mill to remove the peels and cores. (Or, if you cored and peeled the apples-puree it in batches in a food processor or blender.) Measure the puree.
- Rinse out the stock pot and return the puree to it. Add 2 tablespoons sugar per cup of puree, and add the spices. (Puree with an immersion blender, if you want an extrasmooth apple butter. Em-i-lis did not do this.) Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring carefully every 10 minutes or so with a long-handled spoon or spatula, for several hours, until the puree is dark and thick enough that it mounds up in a teaspoon, and you can dollop a bit of it onto a plate and no liquid seeps out around the edges of the dollop.
- After an hour or two, prepare for water-bath canning: Wash the jars and lids and keep them hot in a canning pot.
- When the apple butter is done, bring it back to a boil.
- Ladle the hot apple butter into the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace at the top. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars, then put a flat lid and ring on each jar, adjusting the ring so that it’s just finger-tight. Return the jars to the water in the canning pot, making sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and boil half-pints or pints for 10 minutes to process. Remove the jars to a folded towel and do not disturb for 12 hours. After 1 hour, check that the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each; if it can be pushed down, it hasn’t sealed, and the jar should be refrigerated immediately. Label the sealed jars and store.
Note: If you’re using a Squeezo or similar strainer with a very fine screen, there’s no need to core or peel the apples (yay!). If you’re using a food mill, don’t bother peeling them, but do core them; even the fine-holed disk will tend to let bits of core through (boo!). If you’re pureeing the apples in a food processor or blender rather than passing them through a mill, core and peel them (sorry). Makes 6 half-pints.