The taste of homemade apple butter is worth the time it takes to make this delectable spread. My dad's family made theirs in the backyard in a big copper kettle over a fire of burning hedge wood. It took 6 bushels of apples, 60 lbs. of sugar, four cinnamon sticks, a lemon slice and about 9 hours of constant stirring to make 18 gal. of apple butter—about a year's supply! —Rev. Willis Piepenbrink, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
- 6 to 7 pounds tart apples, unpeeled and quartered
- 3 cups water
- 3-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
- In a 6- to 8-qt. heavy kettle, bring apples and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until apples are tender. Press cooked apples through a colander or food mill. Discard peels.
- Return pureed apples to the kettle. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the consistency is very thick and the color is dark brown, about 8 hours. Freeze in containers. Yield: 4-6 cups.
Originally published as Stove-Top Apple Butter in Reminisce March/April 1991, p33
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