Oven-Roasted Apple Butter
There’s a lot to love about this recipe: the buttery texture that comes from cooking the apples with the skins and seeds, the shortened cooking time thanks to the use of an oven (apple butter can take 5 to 6 hours on the stove top), and the spicy scent that will fill your house while the mixture cooks. For sweeter results, replace the cider vinegar with water.
1. Place apples and vinegar in large stainless steel pot with 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until apples have applesauce-like consistency. Run mixture through food mill or press through sieve to separate pulp from skin and seeds; discard skin and seeds. Transfer pulp (you should have about 5 cups) to large ovenproof dish or Dutch oven.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir remaining ingredients into apple pulp. Bake 2 to 2½ hours, or until apple butter thickens to a spreadable consistency, stirring every 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, sterilize jars and lids: Submerge jars in large pot filled halfway with simmering water, and lids in small pot of simmering water. Keep jars and lids in hot water until ready to use.
4. Remove jars one at a time from hot water, and fill with jam, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Seal with lids. Place canning rack or cake rack in bottom of large pot, and return sealed jars to pot, adding extra water to cover jars by 1 inch, if necessary. Bring to a boil, and boil 10 minutes. Remove jars from water, and cool.