Baked Apple Butter
about eight 1/2-pint jars
Wash, stem, and quarter:
6 pounds unpeeled cooking apples
Combine in a large heavy saucepan with:
8 cups apple juice
Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft, about 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Pass the apples through a food mill or medium-mesh sieve. Return to the pan, and add:
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cups sugar (half may be packed brown sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Slowly bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in, if desires:
(1/2 cup port or dry red wine), sometimes I do, sometimes I don't
Pour three-quarters of the puree into a deep baking dish, (I pour it all in), reserving the rest. Bake, uncovered, until thick enough to mound on a spoon, about 10 hours, This is where I go to bed. As the mixture shrinks, stir in the reserved puree, and continue baking until entire mixture is very hot.
Pack the hot fruit butter into hot 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process for 15 minutes in hot water bath.
No, this does not splatter all over your oven.