Apple butter, or apple marmalade as it is sometimes called, is a useful and tasty addition to your store cupboard. Not only can apple butter be used as a spread, but it is also an excellent base for mousse or as a filling for tarts and cakes.
4 lb. well-flavoured apples
16 fl. oz. cider granulated sugar
2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
Wash and quarter the apples, but do not peel them or remove the seeds. Put the apple quarters and the cider in a large preserving pan or saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered until the apples are very soft.
Rub the fruit and cider mixture through a fine sieve. To every 8 fluid ounces, add 4 ounces of sugar. Return the apple and sugar mixture to the saucepan and add the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, lemon juice and rind. Stir constantly, over low heat, until the sugar is dissolved.
Raise the heat and boil rapidly until the apple butter thickens. To test, place a spoonful of the butter on a cold plate.
When no rim of liquid separates around the edge, the apple butter is ready.
Pour the butter into hot, clean, dry jars and seal with waxed paper and cellophane covers.