The secret to making apple butter is using a crock pot. Apple butter begins its life as applesauce, then cooks slowly (oh so slowly) down to the thick brown substance we are familiar with. Traditionally it is made on the stove, but we actually had to keep ours in the crock pot for TWO DAYS before it was the correct consistency. The Joy of Cooking (a book everyone should own and keep on hand in the kitchen) can give you good ideas for how to spice your apple butter. A word of caution: it takes a LOT of apples to make a small amount of apple butter. Be prepared.
Apple PieThis is the first time I have ever made apple pie. I admit, I was excited...and it was so much easier than I thought. Pie crust is easy to make! Once again, let the Joy of Cooking be your guide. Simple and traditional recipes, I believe, are the key to preserving and enjoying the harvest. Also, I will mention I've heard there are good deals on apples at the Lakeside Farmer's Market. Grab them before the season is over!