Apple butter

Circle B Kitchen

For apple butter, you want to choose apples that will break down when they cook. The best ones for that are Macintosh, Jonagolds and Rome Beauty. Ultimately, any good baking apple is going to work, and I think it's always a good idea to use a mix of apples for a more complex flavor profile.

Makes about 6 cups

15 or so medium sized tart apples (four or five pounds) - Macintosh are nice (I used Winesaps and Jonogolds)

4 cups apple juice or cider

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups sugar

Wash, core and quarter the apples. It is not necessary to peel the apples. Place the apples in a large kettle or Dutch oven along with the juice or cider. Bring to a boil then cover the mixture and simmer for about 30 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Run the mixture through a food mill and return the apples back to the Dutch Oven. Stir in the sugar, and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat yet again and leave uncovered over very low heat cook for about 8 hours or until the mixture is very thick. Be sure to stir periodically and frequently to prevent burning on the bottom. Run a hand blender through the apple butter to create a smooth texture.

At this point you could can (preserve) it or store in airtight containers in the fridge. It will last several weeks (even months).