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Gingered Apple Butter

4 pounds cooking apples, unpeeled, cored and quartered
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed apple cider
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

The night before, in a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker, combine the apples, brown sugar, apple cider, and lemon zest and juice. Cover and slow cook until the apples are very, very soft, 8 to 10 hours on low (200 degrees F).

The next day, stir in the grated ginger. Increase the heat to high (300 degrees F), uncover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced to about 3 cups, 8 to 10 hours.

Using a rubber spatula, rub the apple butter through a wire strainer set over a bowl to remove the apple peels.

Spoon the warm apple butter into hot sterilized jars. Screw on the two-piece lids and let stand at room temperature 8 hours, or overnight; refrigerate. (The canned apple butter will keep, refrigerated, for up to 6 months. )

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