I found this on Lehmans Country LIfe.
Apple butter is a uniquely delicious, almost decadent creation and surprisingly easy to make; after all it has only one ingredient, apples. And it wants lots and lots of apples. Any apple variety or combination thereof will do. A batch can be small, but it’s nearly the same fuss to make a lot of it so you might as well make a bunch and can it. With a big batch, you can even create three special sub-batches with very little trouble.
Wash, slice and core about -oh, let’s say two hundred apples. you must ensure that you core and slice the apples without peeling them. Leaving the peels on is one of the secrets of truly great apple butter.
Chop all the apple slices into bits if you can, then fling them into the biggest stockpot you have, add a cup or two of water so the ones on the bottom don’t scorch, and turn the heat on low. An electric stove is uniquely well suited for this project, because the burner coil distributes the same low heat very evenly all over the base of the pot, where gas stoves set on low tend to concentrate the heat at the very center. A wood stove is superb for this cookery, if great care is exercised in maintaining an even moderate fire throughout.
Stir with a big spoon or paddle as often as you can. Cover completely only at first, until the heat builds up to a steady simmer. Cook the apples until they reach the consistency of applesauce, with the peels floating about in the stew. Then set up a food mill onto a somewhat smaller stockpot on the adjacent burner and, a few ladles at a time, run the whole batch of applesauce through the mill. Clean out the reserved peel mush from the mill periodically, and toss it into the compost.
What remains will be of considerably reduced volume. If your food mill has a coarse screen you can improve the apple butter’s consistency by scooping up large dollops of it and pressing it through a sieve with a spatula, discarding the peel pulp that separates. Or, if you don’t have a food mill, you can ladle out the original applesauce into a blender and give it half a minute or so at medium speed, then run that through the sieve. It takes quite a few trips to the blender and sieve to do the whole batch, but the resulting velvety texture is worth it.
Cook, cook, cook that apple butter. And stir, stir, stir! Keep at it; it may take hours! If it’s late and you need to go to bed, bring the contents up to a boil, cover the pot, and turn off the heat; start it up again the next day. As long as nobody opens the lid, the contents will remain sterile for a whole day or even two.
Reduce the apple butter down until it’s thick, brown and aromatic, with a consistency like almost-set pudding. Stir frequently and it will never scorch.
When it’s ready, divide up your canning jars into three batches. If you’re like me you’ll find the deep, exquisite sweetness of the pure fruit to be everything this wondrous confection needs, so put at least a third of your apple butter into the first batch of jars, plain. Make sure you label the jars thus. Seal and process in a boiling water bath 20 minutes for less-than-a-pint jars, 30 minutes for pints.
As the canning bath is simmering, add spices to the remaining apple butter. Ground cinnamon, powdered clove, mace, allspice, cardamom, ginger – it’s up to you. Regardless of batch size, the General Spicing Rule applies (“If you can immediately identify any of the spices, you’ve used too much of that one”) so add in small increments until it’s as “spicy” as it needs to be. Put half of the remaining apple butter into the second set of canning jars, and label it as “Spiced.” Process as above.
Finally, add sweetener. Sugar, brown sugar, honey, even maple syrup will do the job. When you’ve got it as sweet as you like, can it up, label it “Sweet & Spicy,” and process as above.
Homemade apple butter is one of those special rare delights that, if you don’t keep an eye open, will disappear before you know it. A wholesome treat on toast, the kids will scoff it straight from the jar if they get the chance. It’s a fantastic final touch to pancakes or waffles,