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Canned Apple Butter

6 Pounds apples -- about
2 1/2 Cups sugar - (to 3 cups)
2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon - (to 1 tbspn)
1/2 Teaspoon ground allspice - (to 1 tspn)
1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves - (to 1/2 tspn)
1/2 Cup apple cider, if needed

Cut out any bruises or blemishes from apples and remove stems and blossom ends. Cut apples into quarters, leaving peels on and seeds in. (Cooking the apples with the peels on adds flavor. The peels and seeds will be removed later.)

Place in large pot with a little water, cover and cook slowly until very soft. Put through food mill or ricer, or place in colander and press with wooden spoon. Peels and seeds should be strained out, but pulp should pass through. Add smaller amount of sugar and spices, then taste and add more if necessary. If mixture is very thick, thin with a little apple cider.

Cook in a slow cooker, uncovered and on high, overnight, until it's thick enough to hold up a spoon. Stir occasionally. If cooking on the stove, cook on low, uncovered and stirring frequently, until it is very thick.

Place in sterilized 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process 10 minutes in hot water bath.

This recipe yields about 6 to 7 half-pint jars.

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