Super easy and quick homemade apple butter made in just 30 minutes using an Instant Pot!
Errrhhhmerrrgerrrddddd IT’S HERE!!! September, with breezy weather, colorful leaves, pumpkin spice & everything nice.
What better way to welcome autumn than with a giant batch of apple butter?! Better yet, instant pot apple butter, that’s done in like 30 minutes instead of 10 hours in a slow cooker!
What is apple butter?
If you love apples or anything fall flavored you’ll love apple butter. It’s similar to apple sauce except that apple sauce generally has a thinner consistency, resulting in a quicker cooking time.
Apple butter requires longer cooking time so more of the water cooks out, making it a thicker consistency. This normally takes 8-10 hours to slow cook, but it only takes about 30 minutes to pressure cook! It can also be made on the stove top but who can be bothered by that.
Apple butter also has a longer shelf life, you can refrigerate it for a couple of weeks or freeze it for longer.
Flavor-wise, apple butter caramelizes as it’s cooking, making it sweeter. Most people also generally add fall spices so, unlike apple sauce, apple butter is just a magical combination of caramelized sweet apples and cinnamon sticks.
How to make instant pot apple butter
Like I said, instant pot apple butter is probably the easiest recipe of my life. You’ll want to start with diced or sliced apples, with the skin because nobody has time for that. Apples, along with many other fruits, naturally release pectin so when it’s heated with sugar it thickens into a spreadable consistency, like butter or jam.
What kind of apples to use for homemade apple butter
I won’t pretend like I know everything there is to know about apples but here is what I do know. Generally it’s recommended to choose a softer apple, such as Liberty, Grims Golden, Ida Red, McIntosh, Fugi, etc. because they will cook down quicker. However, we’re using an instant pot so it really doesn’t matter.
Granny Smith apples are going to be less sweet but they do have a higher percentage of pectin. I haven’t tested it but I would assume this apple would give a nice, thick consistency. I usually have something like Gala or Honeycrisp apples at home and this recipe works great with those.
Can I make apple butter without the added sugar
You can certainly make apple butter without the added sugar, just expect to have slightly different results. Obviously, your apple butter will be less sweet and it may even be a little more runny.
Sugar helps absorb some of the water, allowing the pectin molecules to bond with one another instead. Sugar also acts as a preservative, helping the apple butter hold it’s flavor and color.
If you want to make apple butter without the added sugar, I would recommend using a soft sweeter apple, like the ones mentioned above. You can also add more or less spices depending on your preferences!
What to use apple butter for
It’s honestly so versatile, you can use it as a jam on toast, on a charcuterie board, a topping on desserts or even in recipes.
I have a few fall recipes using apple butter so make sure to check out apple butter pop tarts, apple butter cinnamon rolls, apple butter pie, apple cider donuts, apple crisp macchiato, apple butter muffins and Britney’s apple butter basque cheesecake.
The main thing to look out for is the consistency. If you’re baking with apples butter you want to make sure it is thick and not runny. The apple butter should be able to coat the back of a spoon without falling off immediately.
If it’s too thin then it’ll just all leak out of cinnamon rolls or pop tarts, etc. If you’re just using it for toast, oatmeal, or other things like that then the consistency would just be personal preference.
I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. It’s super simple & can be used in so many ways so it’s definitely worth making a batch & stocking up for the season!
Have a blessed day and happy baking! As always,
- 5 lbs gala apples, cored and diced
- ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- In the bowl of an instant pot, toss together all of the ingredients until they’re well combined.
- Close the lid and make sure it's sealed. Cook the apples on manual for 20 minutes (it takes a few minutes to heat up before the 20 minutes).
- Once 20 minutes is up, release the pressure and remove the lid.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the apples until they’re smooth or use a food processor but only do a little at a time.*
- The apple butter will thicken as it cools. Use as desired.
*If the apple butter is hot and you put too much, it builds pressure and makes your food processor explode.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate