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6 lb Jonathan apples (or other cooking apples)
4 c Water
8 c Apple cider
3 c Sugar
Core and quarter unpeeled apples. In an 8 to 10 quart heavy Dutch oven, combine apples and water. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover; simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Drain off liquid. Press apples through a cone-shaped colander or food mill for applesauce. Discard waste.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook apple cider over high heat for about 30 minutes or till reduced by half.
In the Dutch oven, combine applesauce and reduced cider. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in sugar. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 hours or till mixture resembles thick applesauce, stirring often. (It will thicken as it stands.)
Carefully ladle the hot mixture into sterilized, hot, half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. (Begin timing when water begins to boil.)
Note: If you like, spoon the apple butter into freezer containers. Cover and freeze. You can also store it in the refrigerator.
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