Apple butter makes a great holiday gift and is a delicious spread on toast or other breakfast rolls.
Wash, quarter, and core the apples. Place the apples and water in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the apples have cooked down and look like applesauce. Stir occasionally. Pass the applesauce through a fine strainer and return to the pot. Mix in the sugar and spices and cook over low heat for 1-2 hours. Stir frequently. Taste the apple butter occasionally to see if more sugar or spices are necessary. This will depend on the apples and personal preference. To test if the apple butter is done, the apple butter should hold its shape when on a spoon for 2 minutes, the apple butter should not fall off a spoon when turned upside down, and when the apple butter is spread on a plate water should not separate from the butter. The apple butter should have a nice dark color. Place the apple butter in a jar and refrigerate. This apple butter will last for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.