Bruce makes his own supply of apple butter each year and prefers using Cortland apples, which don’t oxidize as rapidly when cut as do other varieties.
Wash apples and quarter them (coring and peeling is unnecessary), and cook until soft, adding enough cider to get them started without scorching. When the apples are soft, sieve them, add sugar, and season with remaining ingredients to taste. Simmer in a heavy pan over very low heat, uncovered, until desired thickness is reached. Stir often to avoid burning.