Cider vinegar and lots of crisp apples cook until soft and fragrant. Spices are added, and this thick wonderful concoction is baked in the oven. Makes one and a half quarts.
INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings):
- 4 pounds apples, cored and chopped
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 10 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 5 teaspoons ground cloves
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 4 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Place apples and 2 cups of cider vinegar or water into a large pot. Cook over medium low heat until soft.
Put the fruit through a strainer.
Measure the apple pulp by cup into a large mixing bowl. Keep track of how many cups of apple pulp you have added to the mixing bowl. For each one cup of apple pulp mix in 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, and the zest of one lemon; mix well.
Spoon the mixture into a Dutch oven. Cook the mixture over a medium or medium-low temperature until it "sheets" from the spoon. What this means is that you put a small amount of the apple butter in a spoon and let it cool slightly. As it thickens, two large drops will form along the edge of the spoon (as you hold the spoon upside down over the pot) one drop on either side of the spoon. When these two drops come together and fall as one drop of the spoon, the sheeting stage has been reached.
Pour apple butter into hot sterilized jars. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.