Apple butter is a smooth, creamy spread made out of apples and a few other ingredients. It tastes good on bread and is an interesting alternative to jam, regular butter and other popular toppings. Although apple butter is often preserved in cans, it will also keep well in the freezer. Keep one tin of apple butter in the fridge, ready to use, and freeze the rest in the fall to save for a midwinter treat.
Cut 4 lbs. of apples into quarters. Do not peel or core them beforehand.
Place the cored apples into a large pot and add 3 cups of apple cider. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover it and turn down the heat until it is simmering. Cook the mix for half an hour or until the apples are soft.
Place a few scoops of the mixture into a sieve and press it through with the bottom of a bowl or some other tool into a second bowl. Continue straining the apple through the sieve until it has all been pressed through.
Add 4 cups of light brown sugar to the mix, along with 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. allspice, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.
Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pot. Grate the rind on a small grater and add the lemon zest to the pot and mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Place the pot on low heat and cook it for a few hours, stirring frequently.When it has a smooth and thick consistency, it is done cooking.
Leave the mixture sitting on a stove until it is at room temperature.
Spoon the apple butter into sealed food storage containers, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the edge of each container. Cover the containers and place them in the freezer.