I love making apple butter, even though it takes a long time to make. Here’s the recipe my gramps followed for years with his slight modifications. *grins* You’re lucky– I don’t change the recipes as he did when he gave them to others. LOL
- 6 pounds of tart or lightly sweet apples, unpeeled, cored, and sliced thin
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 strips of lemon zest, each 2 1/2 inches long
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of water
In a large saucepan cook the apples in the cider over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until tender. Puree them with a stick blender and add the remaining ingredients. Cook the mixture over very low heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until very thick. Discard the lemon zest.
Spoon the mixture into 2 sterilized 1-pint Mason-type jars, filling them to within 1/2-inch of the top. Wipe the rims with a dampened cloth and seal the jars with the lids. Put the jars in a water bath canner or a rack in a deep kettle and add enough water to cover the jars by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and process, covered, for 10 minutes. Transfer the jars with canning tongs to a rack and let them cool. Let the apple butter mellow in a cool, dark place for at least 1 week.
You can do this process in a slow cooker- putting all the ingredients in the slow cooker on low for 3-4 hours. When soft, use a stick blender to blend it together (minus the lemon strips) and let thicken for another hour. Then follow with through with canning procedure as stated.