Flavor comes over time, whether you’re talking about tree-ripened fruit or recipes that call for slow cooking. This rich apple butter is cooked for hours, as the apples darken and the sugars caramelize (don’t worry—much of the cooking time is unattended). Eventually the apples become translucent, then turn auburn, then condense into a thick, jammy spread. Apple butter is delicious eaten straight from the pot, spooned onto crêpes, or spread onto bread for jam sandwiches. Pulling the cinnamon, cloves, and allspice from the pot after the first hour keeps their flavors subtly in the background.
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