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Step 1: Peel, Core and Quarter

Peel, core and quarter 9 cups of apples.

Step 2: Add Juice

Place apples in a large saucepan and cover with 3 cups of 100% fresh apple juice, apple cider, or an apple concentrate.

Step 3: Cook

Place on the stove and cook on a medium heat for about 30 minutes, until all the apples are cooked down.

Step 4: Remove from Heat

Remove from the heat and run the apples through a sieve to get all the juice from the apples. Placing a small pointed sieve into the larger sieve works well to push the liquid out. A rubber spatula can also be used for this.

Step 5: Measure Pulp

Reserve the pulp in a bowl and measure out 6 cups of pulp. Your pulp should be the consistency of a thick applesauce.

Step 6: Add Spices

Pour the 6 cups of apple pulp into the saucepan and add 1-1/2 cups of baker's sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2-teaspoon crushed whole cloves (use a mortar and pestle to crush the whole cloves for a fresher taste), 1-teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg. Powdered spices can also be used. Remember, this episode is all about experiencing the process of canning with traditional recipes. Don't be afraid to experiment with other substitutions for the baker's sugar to sweeten, if desired.

Step 7: Gentle Boil

Return to heat and cook over low heat for 1 hour on a very gentle boil. When the apples are to a thickened consistency, remove from the heat.

Step 8: Pour into Jars

Place the hot apple butter into empty jelly jars that have been brought to a boil and heated thoroughly. Heat lids and rims in a separate water-filled saucepan. This makes for easy retrieval versus the large canning pot.

Step 9: Hot Water Bath

Fill the hot jars with apple butter wiping off the rims to remove any spills. Place hot lids and rims on jars and tighten. Place filled jars on rack in a hot water bath canner, bring to a boil and process for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 10: Remove Jars

Remove jars from canner and place on a towel on a counter or table and let cool. When you hear the lids make a popping sound you will know that they are sealed.

Step 11: Enjoy

Canning and preserving are healthy ways to utilize your produce... They are also processes that don't need to be reserved for just those with gardens or access to the farmer's markets. Buying fresh, local and organic is always best but when that's not available for one reason or another, buying produce in bulk from grocery marts and wholesale clubs is also an option. These efforts can be enjoyed by anyone, anytime.

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