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Instant Pot Apple Butter

Instant Pot Apple Butter is easy, delicious, and tastes just like caramelized apples! It's creamy, rich, and makes a perfect spread for toast, pancakes, and so much more. It can be made in your instant pot, slow cooker, or on the stove top.
Course Appetizer, Condiment, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 90kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds large apples cored and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In a 6-quart instant pot add all of your ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the knob to the “sealing” position. Press the manual mode on the instant pot and set the time to high pressure for 10 minutes. (It will take about 15 minutes for the pressure to build up inside of the Instant Pot.)
  • Once the time is up on the Instant Pot, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then turn the knob to "venting" and allow the rest of the pressure to release.
  • Remove the cinnamon sticks, then use an immersion blender to puree the apples until smooth.
  • Press the sauté function on the instant pot followed by the "adjust" button to turn the heat to "less." Place the lid back on top of the instant pot but do not screw it back on. Leave it slightly open to allow steam to escape. Stir every 10 minutes until the apple butter thickens, about 45 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot and allow to cool. 
  • The apple butter will thicken even more as it cools. Store in sterilized glass jars in the refrigeator for up to one month.

Notes

  • This recipe makes about 5 cups of apple butter.
  • You can peel your apples but I choose to leave the peel on. For one, it's SO much easier, and two there is a lot of fiber and a deeper apple flavor in the peel. If you blend your apples well enough you won’t even  notice the peel. Plus the additional pectin in the peel helps hold the apple butter together resulting in a thicker, more delicious spread.
  • You can also add 1 teaspoon apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice for a deeper apple flavor, or you can substitute the apple pie spice for ½ teaspoon nutmeg and ½ teaspoon cloves. Keep the cinnamon as is or add more to taste.
  • The vanilla extract is optional but gives the apple butter a rich flavor and aroma. I put vanilla in anything I can, so I wouldn't skip it here!
  • To puree your cooked apples you can use an immersion blender, food mill, or a typical blender. All work great here!
  • Best Apples for Apple Butter: apples that are typically softer in texture lend well to making apple butter, but you can really use any kind of apple or whatever you have on hand. For best results a combination of apples works nicely. Choose a few from types like Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Braeburn,  or Honeycrisp for a combination of sweet and tart.
  • Slow Cooker Version: In a 6-quart slow cooker add all of your ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or until the apples soften. After cooking  for 2-3 hours, remove the lid and stir. Replace the lid, but leave slightly open and continue to cook on the low setting until the apples are super soft, dark in color, and the liquid has reduced and thickened, around 8 hours. Remove the lid and remove the cinnamon sticks. Use an immersion blender to puree the apples until smooth. It will thicken even more as it cools.
  • Stove Top Version: Combine all of your ingredients in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to toss all of your ingredients together. Cover with a lid and bring the mixture to a simmer. Uncover the pot, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the apples are soft and mushy. Remove the apples from the heat and discard the cinnamon sticks. Using an immersion blender, puree the apples for a few minutes until they are super smooth. Return the pan to the stove and cook for an additional 15 minutes over low heat stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and all the liquid has evaporated. It will thicken even more as it cools.
  • How to store: You can store apple butter in glass jars with lids. First sanitize the jars with hot water and let them dry. Add the apple butter to the sanitized jars and close tightly. Store in the fridge for up to one month.
  • Freezer Option: Place the apple butter in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 6 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg