1) Core and cut up the apples into about 1inch cubes. You can also peel them if you like. It doesn't matter much in the end and I'm usually lazy about this
2) Put the apples in a large pot with the cider, cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours, until the apples are good and mushy.
3) You can hand mush these if you so wish, but I find using a food grinder to be more fun and efficient. **
4)Put your cooked and mushed apple into a mesh strainer and let it sit for a few minutes to drain out excess juices. Put it back in the pot and pour back into the strainer. ( This just expedites the ridding of the excess juices) Do this a few times.**
5) Once that is done, put the apples back in the pot and add the sugar and spices to taste. Remember it doesn't take much of the spices to have an impact. I put in about 2 cups of sugar in the apple butter and that makes it pretty sweet.
6) Cover and cook on low for another hour until dark brown.
7) When that's done, put it through the mesh strainer a few more times and enjoy.
8) Refrigerate for up to several weeks.
*If you stop here and add a little bit of sugar and a little bit of cinnamon, you've got apple sauce.
** Save the juices in the fridge and then use later in my apple cake recipe. Also the juices left over after the second round of cooking are a tad syrupy from the sugar, so save that and reduce down to a thicker syrup to add to apple pie!