Makes about 2 pints
- 5 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and diced (see note)
- 1 3/4 cups apple cider
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a large pot, bring the apples and cider to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the apples are soft, 30 to 35 minutes. Use a potato masher, fork, or immersion blender to roughly mash the mixture.
- Return the apple mixture to the heat, and stir in the sugar, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, mace, and nutmeg.
- Continue to simmer until the mixture has thickened and becomes a deep rich brown, about 1 1/2 hours. The mixture will be relatively smooth, but may have a few chunks. If you want a completely smooth butter, you may purée it lightly at this point.
- Store the apple butter in a covered container in the refrigerator, or pour the finished apple butter into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Seal the jars and process for 7 to 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Store the processed jars in a cool, dark place.
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