Notes: Pat Scheuner's batches of apple butter at Grandpa's Cellar in Camino, California, are so big that it takes 5 days for them to cook in big copper kettles. To get the same effect with fewer apples, finish the butter in the oven. For a no-sugar version, cook Golden Delicious apples in apple juice and use about 1 cup honey instead of brown and granulated sugars.
5 pounds apples such as Gravenstein, Elstar, or McIntosh
1 cup apple juice or water
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
How to Make It
Peel, quarter, and core apples.
In a 6- to 8-quart pan, combine apples and juice. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are very soft when pressed, 20 to 30 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, purée apple mixture, a portion at a time. Pour purée into a roasting pan about 12- by 17-inch size. Stir in brown sugar and granulated sugar to taste. Mix in the ground cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
Bake, uncovered, in a 325° oven, stirring occasionally, until butter is thick enough to mound when spooned onto a plate, 30 to 45 minutes.
Serve warm or cool. To store, cover and chill airtight up to 1 month. Or spoon into freezer containers, leaving at least 1 inch headspace. Cover airtight and freeze up to 1 year.