An delightful spread for toast, with less sugar than jams have
This recipe makes a bit more than a cup of apple butter, instead of the gallons that most recipes produce. It must be easy, because it worked out the first time for me.
Cut up three apples, about 1-1/4 lb, into eighths and put them in a 1-qt saucepan with just enough water to cover. Do not add any excess water now, since you will just have to boil it out later. Cook until the apples are soft, about an hour in Denver. When they are soft, mash them coarsely with a potato masher. Now take a 2-qt saucepan and a strainer, and press the apples, in batches, through the strainer with the back of a tablespoon. This takes a bit of effort and scraping, but does the job. Add 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of ground cloves, and a tsp of lemon juice. A little allspice and grated lemon rind can be added if you want, but I omitted them. Cinnamon and cloves are powerful spices, but apple butter is supposed to be spicy. The mixture becomes nice and brown at this point. Put over medium heat and stir to keep the mixture from burning on the bottom of the saucepan. This is particularly necessary after the mixture becomes thick, and begins boiling like pea soup. Continue until the apple butter is thick and creamy and a nice consistency when you spoon a little on a cold plate. This may take a while, but you will know when it is done.
Put into a closed container and store in the refrigerator. It should last a reasonable amount of time. It is better than any commercial apple butter I have encountered.
Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 2 September 2002