Makes 4 cups / Apple butter is a staple on our menu and on my table at home. At the restaurant we spread it with whole butter on our sprouted-grain toast, sprouted-grain bagels, or English muffins. Refrigerate in jars. This makes 4 cups, so you’ll have a couple of jars to gift to friends.

5 pounds apples, cored and quartered (sweet-cooking variety, such as Jonathan or York Imperial), about 10 medium apples

3 cups organic unfiltered apple juice or cider

1 cup (approximately) agave nectar

1 tablespoon organic unsulphured molasses

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a large saucepan, bring apples and cider to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until apples are quite soft, about 45 minutes. Remove apples from pan using a slotted spoon; set aside. Slow-simmer cider over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup.

2. Working in batches, mash cooked apples through a ricer or purée in a food processor. Pass pulp through a sieve to remove skins. Measure pulp and return to saucepan with reduced cider. For each 1 cup pulp, add 3 tablespoons agave nectar. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well. Slowly cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until most liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour. Test consistency by placing a small amount on a plate; it’s ready when no liquid seeps out around the edge. Chill.

PER SERVING (1/4 cup): 156 cal, 1% fat cal, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg chol, 1g protein, 41g carb, 2g fiber, 79mg sodium