Back to Basics: SCD Apple Butter

I love my 1986 copy of the book Stocking Up III: The All-New Edition of America’s Classic Preserving Guide. I appreciate the simplicity of the recipes, many of which are SCD legal, for their fundamental ingredients and back-to-basic techniques.

I adapted the Stocking Up apple cider and apple butter recipes for the final product below, which I have to say, we all thought was pretty tasty. And any recipe that we can all eat—and like—is a winner in my book.

Here is the list of ingredients for apple butter, from page 269 of the book:

3 cups of apple cider
5 pounds of apples, unpeeled and uncored, sliced thin
honey to taste
ground cinnamon, to taste
ground allspice, to taste
ground cloves, to taste

I know the list of ingredients is vague, but it does allow you to modify the recipe, which is helpful especially since personal preference for spices can vary greatly.

Although I used the list of ingredients listed above, for SCD reasons I peeled and cored the apples. Then, instead of using a large enamel pot, I cooked the apples in the crock pot.

I did not have any apple cider so I used the recipe from pages 292 through 294 of the book. I was thrilled to find that using the Vita Mix was a suitable way to make apple juice as evidenced by the picture of an older model on page 292. Since no volumes or masses are listed for how many apples to use, I just winged it until I got 3 cups of juice.

Following the instructions on page 293 and illustration on 294 I made the juice by first pureeing the peeled apples in the Vita Mix.

Then I strained the puree through a muslin bag,

reserving the juice for the apple butter recipe.

By the way, I saved the puree, which we later ate with potato latkes. However, the taste was quite concentrated and the puree probably would have been better in cake or muffins.

At this point, the five pounds of cored, peeled, and sliced apples were already cooking in the crock pot. I added the three cups of juice, a half-cup of honey, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a half-teaspoon of allspice, and a half-teaspoon of cloves. Later, after many hours of cooking, I tasted the mixture and added more spices.

Initially, I cooked the apples on high until they softened, remembering to leave the lid ajar to allow the liquid to evaporate. Before I went to bed, I set the crock pot to low (8-10 hours). This was a little risky. First thing in the morning, I thought I had ruined the whole batch because the edges were very dark. However, it tasted delicious and we enjoyed it on regular and SCD pancakes right away.
I stored the rest of it in half-pint jars in the freezer since there was not really enough to can. The Stocking Up recipe lists the yield as four half-pints, which is probably accurate if you don’t add any honey. After eating some with breakfast, we had four jars left to store.

What apple recipes are you cooking up this fall?



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Formerly, I've worked in publishing and been a medical student. Currently, I'm a freelance writer and copy editor, and full-time mom with two exceptional daughters. LivingLaVidaMama focuses on intentional frugality and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that has dramatically improved my younger daughter's autistic-like symptoms. Contact me at MadForWriting at