This is the first year that my Fuji apple tree has had a significant harvest, especially considering that the young tree is still not quite 6 feet tall. When I had picked over three dozen apples (and still left some small ones to develop more on the tree) I decided to do some canning and began looking for some good recipes. I decided to make apple butter, because it's tasty, fat-free, and easy--only six ingredients and it can be prepared in a crockpot. This recipe is adapted from the Rival Crock-Pot Cooking book that came with my crockpot many years ago. The only thing I changed was the variety of apple used.
Old-Fashioned Apple Butter
12 - 14 apples (the book suggested Jonathan or Winesap; I used Fuji)
2 cups apple juice (I used apple cider)
(The book also listed an optional ingredient--1/2 cup sauterne--which I didn't use)
In addition, you will need a large crockpot and a food mill.
The next morning I ran the cooked apples through a food mill to remove the peels. (You don't want to remove the peel before cooking because there is a good amount of pectin in the peel that helps thicken the apple butter.) Measure the apple mixture and return it to the crockpot. I had 10 cups of cooked apples at this point. For every 2 cups of sieved, cooked apples, add 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, and 1/2 teaspoon of cloves. So, for my 10 cups of apples, I added 5 cups of sugar, 5 teaspoons of cinnamon, and 2 1/2 teaspoons each of allspice and cloves.
Stir well, cover, and cook on High for 6 to 8 hours, stirring every couple of hours. After the first 3 hours of cooking, remove the cover so the juice will evaporate more and the fruit will cook down. The mixture will become dark brown and very thick. Spoon it into hot, sterilized jars and process using standard canning methods. I used a hot water bath to process, following the instructions here.
My yield from this batch was 8 half-pints.
I still have a couple dozen more apples sitting on my counter--I think I may have to dig up some more apple recipes!