1½ to 2 cups apple cider vinegar
3 cups water
4 cups of granulated sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
¼ tsp. cloves (optional)
½ tsp salt
Cut the apples into quarters--no need to core or peel them, but remove any parts that are bruised or damaged by birds or insects. If you use a mix of different apples you'll get better flavor, but I've made plenty of apple butter with only one or two varieties of apple and it turned out just fine. It's homemade---of course it will be good!
Put apples into a 10 quart stock pot with a thick bottom. Add 1½ cups of vinegar and all the water; cover, and cook at medium heat until apples are soft, about 30 minutes. Periodically stir the mixture so the apples on the top end up at the bottom. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Return pot to stove top and cook, uncovered, over medium low heat, stirring constantly so the purée doesn't scorch. It helps to scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir--a flat wooden spatula with a long handle is the best tool for this purpose. Cook until the purée is thick and smooth.