Smooth, thick and creamy homemade apple butter bursting with fall flavor. You guys are going to love this one for a couple reasons:
I made it in the Instant Pot.
This recipe requires way less hands on time than stovetop recipes. And it is much faster than the slow cooker method which takes literally all day.
It is refined sugar-free.
I naturally sweetened it with three dates which offer a distinct caramel flavor to the butter. Dates are a fresh stone fruit that provide dietary fiber and nutritious vitamins and minerals including zinc, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron and vitamin K.
You don’t have to peel the apples.
Since everything gets pureed after cooking there is no need to peel them! All the important nutrients from the apple skin stay and it makes this recipe super speedy.
To spice it up I used ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Your kitchen will have all the yummy fall aromas and vibes when you make a batch of this.
How to Use Apple Butter
I love to portion out the apple butter into small mason jars and give as a food gift. It would be perfect for Rosh Hashana in a couple days (either for serving with the meal or bringing as a hostess gift). You can spread it over a slice of challah – yum!
I also love to use apple butter in baking. It adds moisture, sweetness and flavor all at once. It can replace oil and butter in many recipes. My favorite way to use it is in apple muffins. I’m hoping to get that recipe up for my apple muffins soon!
If you are making a fall appetizer platter, you can set out a small bowl of apple butter for dipping or spreading. Of course it is wonderful in place of jelly in a sandwich or on toast. I love to put a large dollop of apple butter on my waffles or pancake stack. It is also dreamy swirled into yogurt or oatmeal. I would love to know in the comments below your favorite way to use apple butter! I’m sure I must be missing something here… the possibilities are endless! Who eats it by the spoonful? (Raising my hand proudly over here).
If you are interested in learning about the health benefits of apples, definitely check out an article I wrote for The Washington Post: Apples really can help keep the doctor away.
This recipe is vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free and nut-free.
- 3 pounds sweet red apples (about 8 small Fugi, Jazz, Pink Lady or Gala apples), cored and chopped
- 2 large Golden Delicious apples, cored and chopped
- 1 large Granny Smith apple (for tartness), cored and chopped
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 3 large Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- Place all ingredients in your Instant Pot.
- Cover and cook for 20 minutes on manual high pressure. Allow it to naturally release pressure.
- Allow to cool slightly and puree everything in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, you could peel the apples in advance of cooking them and use an immersion blender (note: I have not tried this method yet myself - I always use a blender).
- Pour the puree into a medium sized pot and place on a low simmer for 30-45 minutes uncovered stirring occasionally to prevent burning. You want to reduce the puree until it thickens by boiling off the extra liquid. Make sure the stovetop is on the lowest setting to avoid splattering. I have read you can also do this on the saute feature of your Instant Pot on low; however when I tested it this way it splattered for me and made a mess so I recommend the stovetop method even though it messes up another dish. The stovetop allows you to control the temperature better.
- Once the puree is thick you can transfer to a glass storage container and store in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. The apple butter will thicken overnight and the flavors may change slightly as it cools. Feel free to adjust to taste as needed. This makes a large batch. You can store in your freezer for up to one month.