Adapted from Simply Recipes
4 lbs of good cooking apples
1 cup apple cider vinegar2 cups water
Sugar (about 4 cups, see cooking instructions)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
Cut the apples into quarters, without peeling or coring them (much of the pectin is in the cores and flavor in the peels), but be sure to cut out damaged parts. Put them into large pot, add the vinegar and water, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat .
Ladle apple mixture into a sieve (or foodmill) and using a pestle force pulp from the sieve into a large bowl below. This will cause your arm to turn to jello, but hey, you wanted real apple butter, right? Measure resulting puree. Add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of apple pulp. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add a dash of salt, and the cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, lemon rind and juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Cook, uncovered, in a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot on medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. (yes, CONSTANTLY!) Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to make sure a crust is not forming at the bottom. Cook until thick and smooth when a bit is spooned onto a cold plate and allowed to cool (1 to 2 hours).