Make this simple homemade apple butter in the Instant Pot to enjoy with cheese, in a bowl of yogurt, or drizzled over ice cream. It doesn’t require peeling apples or adding sugar! This Instant Pot Apple Butter recipe is fast, effortless, naturally vegan, and healthy. Plus it serves as a wonderful edible gift for friends and family.
About this Easy Homemade Apple Butter recipe
This year, we’re lucky that the Paradise Apple tree in our garden, is yielding an abundance of sweet and delightful apples. Typically, I make apple sauce and apple butter once a year using store-bought Bramley apples, Fujis, Granny Smiths, Honeycrisps, or Galas, and then store them in the freezer.
However, for a change, I decided to make no-peel apple butter using our homegrown apples. This recipe comes together quickly with just a handful of ingredients in my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
The Instant Pot helps reduce the cooking time through pressure cooking, and there’s no need for constant attention. It’s definitely quicker than a crockpot, and your homemade apple condiment will be ready in just under an hour.
Apple Sauce Vs Apple Butter
Apple butter is an intensely concentrated version of apple sauce, achieved by prolonged cooking. The extended cooking duration leaves a caramelised hue and richness to the apple sauce. Despite the name, apple butter contains no real butter; instead, it has got its name due to the velvety, smooth, and buttery texture it exhibits.
On the other hand, apple sauce(popular in the UK) undergoes a brief cooking process, cooking until the apples have softened and then gently processed until achieving a smooth or chunky consistency. It maintains a lighter colour and has a more sauce-like texture.
- Apples: Any apple variety such as Bramley apples, Fujis, Granny Smiths, Honeycrisps or Gala Apples is suitable for making apple butter. For a sweeter apple butter, consider using Gala apples.
- Spices: Ground Cinnamon and Ground Nutmeg are both included in the recipe.
- Vanilla: One tablespoon of vanilla bean paste is used, but you can also substitute an equal amount of Vanilla extract if preferred.
- Water/Apple Juice: Either option works well; I’ve incorporated just 1/2 cup of water, which is sufficient for the Instant Pot cooking process.
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Sugar (optional): If the apples are tart, consider adding around 1 cup of dark brown sugar. You can also use granulated white sugar, but keep in mind that it may affect the colour of the apple butter
How to make Quick & Easy Apple Butter in the Instant Pot?: step by step
- Add Ingredients: Place all the ingredients – apples, water, spices, vanilla extract, and lemon juice – into the Instant Pot’s inner pot.
- Pressure Cook High for 10 Minutes: Seal the Instant Pot lid and set the vent to SEAL. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the timer for 10 minutes. Allow for a natural pressure release.
- Blend Smooth: Process the apple butter until it reaches a smooth, velvety consistency using an immersion blender. Alternatively, let the apple mixture cool before transferring it to a blender for processing.
- Saute: Select the SAUTE mode. Cover with a glass lid and let the mixture simmer for at least 20 minutes or until the apple butter reaches your desired consistency.
- Optional: If your apples aren’t sweet enough or if you prefer sweeter apple butter, you can add 1-2 cups of dark brown sugar during the saute stage.
While most apple butter is plain or flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg, there are numerous options to infuse your apple butter with exciting flavours:
- Warming Spices: Consider adding allspice powder or a blend of ginger, nutmeg, and cloves for a warm, cozy twist.
- Apple Pie Spices: Simply combine 2 tablespoons of ground cardamom, 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, and a pinch of allspice. Mix them together and store the blend in a cool, dry place. Add 2 tablespoons of this homemade Apple Pie spice mix into the recipe for a delightful variation.
- Pumpkin Pie Spices: For a variation similar to Pumpkin Pie spice, substitute 3/4 teaspoon of ground cloves for the cardamom in the Apple Pie spice recipe.
Tips to make the Best Instant Pot Apple Butter
Minimise Waste: Utilise every part of the apple, including the peels, in this no-waste recipe.
Watch the Thickness: Remember that apple butter thickens as it cools. Aim to cook it down to a slightly looser consistency than your desired end result.
Crisp Apples Preferred: Opt for crisp apple varieties over softer ones for the best results.
Apple butter is perfect on toast, in oatmeal, in chia pudding or a smoothie. Spoon over ice cream or waffles. You can elevate yogurt, enhance desserts, or pair with cheese. It’s an apple chutney alternative if you prefer a slightly tart experience. There are endless ways to enjoy this flavourful spread!
How to store Apple Butter
In the fridge: To store your apple butter, choose a mason jar or an airtight plastic container. It’ll maintain its quality in the fridge for about two weeks. Since this apple butter contains no added or less sugar, it has a shorter shelf life than the ones with sugar. For instance our Instant Pot strawberry jam.
In the freezer: Alternatively, you can freeze it in small portions. It will keep well through the year.
Frequently asked questions
- How to Make Quick Apple Butter from Apple Sauce?Creating speedy apple butter from apple sauce is a breeze. Begin with unsweetened apple sauce, then measure it out. If you desire added sweetness, add sugar. Flavour it with your favourite autumnal spices, and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Voilà, quick and easy apple butter ready in minutes.
- How Long Does Homemade Apple Butter Last?Homemade apple butter has a decent shelf life. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If you prefer to keep it for a longer duration, it can be frozen for up to 1 year. Once a container is opened, refrigerate it and use it within 2 weeks for the best quality.
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- 2 kg Apples (4.5 lbs) washed, cored, and sliced
- 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
- ¾ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla
- 1 Lemon Juice
- ½ Cup Water or Apple Juice
- Add all the ingredients – Apples, water, spices, vanilla extract, and lemon juice to the inner pot of the Instant Pot.2 kg Apples, 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon, ¾ Tsp Ground Nutmeg, 1 Lemon Juice, ½ Cup Water, 1 Tbsp Vanilla
- Pressure Cook High for 10 minutes – Close and secure the instant pot lid to the locked position. Check to make sure the vent is turned to SEAL. Press Pressure Cook and set the timer for 10 minutes. Natural pressure release.
- Process apple butter to a smooth velvety butter consistency using a hand blender. Alternatively, allow the apple mixture to cool down and then transfer to the blender and process.
- Press SAUTE. Cook covered with a glass lid on and allow the mixture to boil for at least 20 minutes or until the apple butter has reached the desired consistency.