- 4 or more pounds of apples
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- dash of salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- juice and zest of one lemon.
Peel, core and coarsley chop up the apples. Cut out the bad or brown spots first. The best way I've found to do this is to use a potato peeler to take off the skins. Then just set the apple bottom down on the cutting board and make a cut vertically down one side of the apple close to the core. Turn the apple, make another cut......repeat until you have left the core of the apple. It will look like a square or pentagon, depending on how big your apple is. Don't worry if there is some skin still left on the apple, because you are going to cook it into a mush and the skins contain pectin.
Put the apple chunks in a large stew pan with the 1 cup of cider vinegar. Stew over low heat until they are soft. Mash with a potato masher or put through the sieve of a food mill if you want a smoother apple butter.
Add the sugar, lemon, salt and spices. Simmer and stir frequently until it is very thick or until when you put a glop of apple butter on a saucer there is no liquid leaking out around the edges.
Spoon into sterilized half pint jars and put on the sterilized lids and screw bands. Put into a water bath and process at boiling for 10 minutes.
If you have never canned before, there are some good sites on the net that will give you a basic tutorial. I highly recommend getting the book "Putting Food By". It will walk you through the process. This has been my canning Bible for years and years.