for the best-tasting apple butter, use an equal mixture of sweet and tart apples. i used granny smith, sunrise, fuji, honeycrisp, and mac apples. use any varieties you wish, the more the better. each time you make apple butter, it will taste a bit different depending on the apples you use. of course, local, in-season apples will make your apple butter even better (say that 5 times fast). i used 5.5 pounds of apples, but feel free to make a smaller batch if preferred (cooking time may vary).
i used about 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon for this batch, but if you’d like a more flavourful and darker apple butter, add as much cinnamon as you prefer. you can also throw in cinnamon sticks as it cooks or try adding ground cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. some people like to add a spice packet to the mixture. just grab cheesecloth and add in whole spices and tie it with cooking string. it is very easy to remove this way.
3) lemon juice
i added a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice, to taste. this will help extend shelf-life a bit.
you can also add apple juice or sweet apple cider, but i didn’t bother for this batch.