I was in 7th grade the first time I ever tasted apple butter. I was spending the weekend with my best friend at her father's house, and they had a small "orchard" for a back yard. Her step-mother made apple butter every fall, and I remember when we arrived the whole house smelled like apple, cinnamon and nutmeg. We had fresh baked bread with apple butter at just about every meal, and ever since I anxiously await jars of apple butter to show up at farmer's markets in the fall.
Supreme Apple Butter Recipe
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 cup apple cider
8 pounds Macintosh apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups apple brandy
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
In a large saucepan, bring apple juice concentrate, apple cider, and Macintosh apples to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Stirring occasionally, simmer uncovered about 1 hour, until apples are easily mashed.
Mix dark brown sugar, apple brandy, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves into the apple mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Transfer to sealed sterile containers, and cool at least 1 hour before serving.