In an 8- to 10-qt. heavy pot or Dutch oven combine apples, pears, and cider. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press apple mixture through a food mill or sieve. (You should have 7 1/2 to 8 cups.) Return pulp to pot; discard skins.Advertisement
Stir in sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, over very low heat 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours or until thick enough that mixture mounds on a spoon, stirring often.
Place pot of apple butter in a sink filled with ice water; stir to cool. Ladle into clean wide-mouth half-pint freezer containers, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and label. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 6 months. Apple butter may darken slightly on freezing. Makes 5 to 6 half-pints.
Classic Apple Butter
Prepare as directed, except omit pears and increase apples to 4 1/2 pounds.
Caramel Apple Butter
Prepare as directed, except omit pears, increase apples to 4 1/2 pounds, decrease granulated sugar to 1/2 cup and add 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar.
Prepare as directed through Step 2. Ladle hot apple butter into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims with a clean cloth; adjust lids and screw bands. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner, starting timing when water returns to boiling. Process apple butter 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.