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Instant Pot apple butter is filled with delicious cinnamon spice flavor. Such a quick and easy recipe to freeze or can, I'll never buy store bought again.
Pressure cooker apple butter is so easy to make, kinda like my peach jam recipe. I’ll never buy store bought again.
I had myself psyched out before we actually made this apple butter recipe because I remembered years ago, slaving over the kitchen sink with a tub full of apples.
Not anymore, though, thanks to my husband’s amazing apple peeler/corer thingamabob (that he picked up at a thrift store, I might add). It is the absolute bomb.
In fact, making apple butter, along with my favorite gluten-free apple crisp recipe, is so much quicker now. We’re able to throw this together in the Instant Pot in minutes.
I’m curious… Have you made homemade apple butter?
When I developed this recipe, I knew I wanted it to taste similar to Cracker Barrel apple butter. Not a copycat recipe really, but similar.
I think we did well. You’ll have to let me know what you think in the comments.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?
If you’d rather skip all of my jam making tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the recipe for apple butter – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card with a longer how to video.
WONDERING, “WHAT IS APPLE BUTTER?” HERE’S THE ANSWER!
Well, according to Wikipedia, “Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider or water to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown.”
Nah… You can make apple butter in your Instant Pot pressure cooker, and it’s not a long, slow, painful process either. It’s actually pretty painless.
Apple butter is a mixture of apples and spices, very similar to applesauce and cinnamon applesauce, but a little sweeter, a little darker, and filled with cinnamon spice flavors.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE BEST APPLES FOR APPLE BUTTER?
Fall is a great time to find the best apples for apple butter, but you can use any apples you find, whether you’re shopping at an orchard, a farmer’s market, or the store.
However, in the fall, you can usually buy seconds at just about any orchard, and sometimes at the farmer’s market. Meaning you can buy a HUGE box of apples for a lot less than normal cost, which is going to save you a ton of money.
Now I will say… It takes a LOT of apples to get very little apple juice, apple jelly, apple butter, or applesauce. But in my opinion, it’s totally worth it.
What kind of apples should I use?
There are certain types of apples that are sweeter and certain types of apples that have a more tart taste.
In the case of homemade apple butter, I like to use a more tart apple, because I’m going to be adding a little sugar anyway.
I used Jonathan apples for this recipe because they were available as seconds at our local orchard. I also love Jonagold apples.
Jonathans are sweet and tart. They’re also crispy and juicy.
The best apples for apple butter may include:
- McIntosh Red
HOW TO MAKE APPLE BUTTER IN THE INSTANT POT
You can make this recipe on the stovetop, or you can even make it as Crock Pot apple butter. Of course, cooking times will differ.
Before starting anything, it's important to wash your apples. I usually like to soak mine in a vinegar/water bath for at least 10 minutes, then rinse.
You'll need 4 pounds of apples.
It's also important to prep your jars for canning or freezing.
Then just follow these steps…
- Core and peel the apples. Cut out any bad spots, as well. Note: While I do leave the peeling on when making homemade applesauce, and you can do that for apple butter too, I chose not to for this recipe.
- Slice the apples.
- Put the sliced apples in your Instant Pot.
- Add water, molasses, sugar, brown sugar, spices, lemon juice, and vanilla to the Instant Pot. If you want to mix everything together, you can; but there’s no need to until after it all cooks.
Then just put the lid in place on the Instant Pot, and press Manual or Pressure Cook for 15 minutes.
When it’s finished cooking, allow the pressure cooker to do a natural release.
Then follow these steps to finish it up…
- Purée the mixture with an immersion blender, or mash the cooked apples with a potato masher. It’s up to you how you prefer the texture or consistency.
- Using a jar funnel, pour the apple butter into each prepared jar… You can use a ladle, but I like to use my cupcake scoop to dip and pour. It makes the process so easy and less messy.
Wipe the top rim of each jar with a wet towel or rag, place the lid on, and tighten the band.
This recipe makes probably about 4-6 pints. It’s so delicious served on homemade biscuits. Yum!
A FEW TIPS WHETHER FREEZING OR CANNING APPLE BUTTER
You can freeze apple butter, but be sure to leave about a 1/2-inch gap at the top of each jar to allow for expansion in the freezer.
We use a water bath canning method.
Before you put your jam in the freezer or the pantry, be sure to write what it is and the year on the lid, so you know when you made it.
WHAT TO EAT WITH APPLE BUTTER:
SHOP KITCHEN TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE:
Apple Corer/Peeler/Slicer – I’m telling you, this tool is so worth every penny we spent at the thrift store, but I’d order one brand new too. It saves so much time. I really want to know where this was when I was growing up. I’m looking at you, Mom, ’cause I don’t remember having one of these.
Instant Pot – We used our 6-quart Instant Pot.
Jar Funnel – This helps to pour the jam into the jars without making a huge mess.
8-ounce Jelly Jars – You can use smaller jars or even pint jars. I’ve found these jelly jars are just the right size for us with the amount of jam and apple butter we eat in a 3-week period. If you already have jars, you may need new lids or a pack of lids and bands.
Learn how to quickly use your Instant Pot with my Instant Pot Quick Guide, filled with practical tips, Instant Pot recipes, accessory ideas, and more!
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- Core, peel, and slice the apples.* Cut out any bad spots, as well.
- Put the apples into the Instant Pot.
- Add water, molasses, pure cane sugar, brown sugar, spices, lemon juice, and vanilla to the Instant Pot. Mix together.
- Put the lid in place on the Instant Pot.
- Press Manual or Pressure Cook for 15 minutes and let it cook.
- Allow the pressure cooker to do a natural release.
- When the apple butter has finished cooking, you can puree the mixture with an immersion blender, or mash the apples with a potato masher. It’s up to you how you prefer the texture or consistency.
- You can either can the apple butter or freeze it. See the recipe notes below.**
*While I do leave the peeling on when making homemade applesauce, and you can do that for apple butter too, I chose not to for this recipe.
**We use a water bath canning method. If you choose to can your apple butter, Ball has wonderful Canning Guides to guide you through the process. You can also consult the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1mg Carbohydrates: 4g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 3g Protein: 0g