- Remove the stems and cut apples in quarters. There is no need to peel or core the fruit. Combine the apples with the cider or water in a large pot and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Simmer covered for 30 minutes, or until the fruit is soft. Put the cooked apples through a food mill or fine strainer, discarding the seeds and skin. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the butter forms a sheet when dropped from a spoon. To test for doneness, place a small quantity on a plate. If a small ring of liquid separates around the edge of the apple butter, continue cooking until no ring forms. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal tightly.