My neighbours brought me some fresh apples from their trees, so I thought I'd try your recipe, (with the Brandy and vanilla). Having read the other reviews I cut down on the sugar, used only the first 2.5 cups for the caramel and didn't add any more. It was so good I made another batch the next day, this time I had about 3/4 pound more apples but the only change was that I added another 1/2 cup of sugar, after making the caramel. My other half says it is the best apple butter I have ever made.
I made this using the applesauce substitution. It took alot longer than posted to cook it down but that might be b/c of the applesauce. It is very sweet. I was afraid it wasn't going to set up b/c of the lack of pectin but it did just fine. I didn't use the brandy b/c I didn't have any. I got 6 half-pints from it.
Wow - this is an absolutely delicious spread! I used apples picked fresh from our tree and cooked them for about 40 minutes to make sure all the apples were tender. I moistened the apples with apple juice to prevent burning. The only other change I made to the recipe is to stir in only 1 cup of sugar at the end because I found the spread to be sweet enough. The caramel flavour comes through superbly and turns this into a wonderful taste treat. I don't know if I would use this as a jam because the texture is more that of apple sauce as opposed to apple jelly but so far I have served this to family and friends as a sauce on ice cream, a topping for cheesecake and a substitute for pie apples and have received rave reviews for each of these.
I made this from apples, not applesauce, and also found it took a lot longer to cook down than listed. Wasn't sure if the 3 1/2 lbs was before or after preparation. Tried it both ways - jam was too sweet with the smaller amount of apples. Final jam is absolutely delicious!