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Apple Butter

1 c Filtered apple juice
1 c Dried apples (organic pref.)
8 lb Firm cooking apples *
1 c Water
1 tb Grated lemon zest
1 tb Fresh lemon juice
2 tb Light brown sugar
2 ts Ground cinnamon
1 ts Ground ginger
1/2 ts Ground cloves
1/2 ts Ground allspice


* Suggested apples: Rome, Winesap, or Cortland. Bring the apple juice to a boil. Place the apples in a glass or ceramic bowl and pour the hot apple juice over them. Let them sit until plump, about one hour. Peel, core, and chop fresh apples. Place them along with the plumped dried apples and juice in a large kettle or Dutch oven. Add approximately 1 cup of water or enough to come about 1 inch up the side of the pan. Bring the water to a gentle boil, cover, and reduce the heat. Simmer until the apples are soft, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the water level often, adding more as needed, a tablespoon at a time, to prevent burning. Transfer the apples to a food processor or blender, and puree, taking care not to liquefy. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and reduces by about a third, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving, allowing time for the flavors to meld. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Makes about 4 cups.


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