i get it in my head that i'm going to can something for friends & family for holiday presents. Last year we made tomatillo salsa from our Lovejoy garden plot bounty, this year we have no such garden - damn brooklyn living. but we do have the benefit of supercheap produce from the co-op. Apple Butter sounds appealing and cheaply made, so I call Alan the produce guy who suggests Jonagold apples, which are HUGE (easy for peeling) and Bartlett pears which are so juicy they nearly melt in your hand.
I find this fine lady's recipe online (pictured, thanks folks!) and with the Ball canning guide proceed (in our usual makeshift fashion, since we don't really have the proper tools)
Some friends come over and we wash, peel, chop and then boil the fruit for hours standing on a makeshift stool so us short girls can reach the bottom of dave's giant beer pot to stir without falling in. We drink wine and eat cheese and bread and takout chinese food and stir and stir and stir. We stir for HOURS. Finally, we think that it's done, it seems to be mounding on the spoon like she said it would and jar it in a boiling water bath.
About 20lbs of fruit led to 4 quarts & 8 pints of butter, only about $50 including the jars & a saturday night for the entire process - well worth it. It had a proper debut at both dave's family's xmas lunch by the spoonful and my family's xmas dinner atop field roast and lamb, and was delicious! it probably could've boiled another while or so for the thickness you find in other apple butters, but no complaints so far!