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A simple Homemade Apple Butter recipe that you can make in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. Use as a spread, a syrup or in your fall recipes. Instructions for canning included.
When the weather starts to cool and you see tips of orange, yellow and red on leaves, you can bet our whole house is filled with the aroma of baking apples and cinnamon.
One of the first recipes I make in the fall is this apple butter recipe. Not only is it easy, it fills your house with comforting fall aromas. It also is great to have on hand for many fall recipes such as cakes and pastries, which I’ll talk more about below. 😉
About this Apple Butter Recipe:
Flavor: This apple sauce centers around two flavors: apples and cinnamon. Use both brown sugar and granulated sugar, but keep the amounts low to allow the natural apple flavor to shine through.
Texture: Peel and core the apples for apple butter as smooth as it can be. Many leave peels on, but I prefer to peel the apples.
Method: There are instructions for the slow cooker and Instant Pot below. As far as storage, we’ve added instructions for canning this apple butter, which you all have loved!
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Reader Amy says, “This is the third time I’m making this. My husband and I have it for breakfast everything morning on our 15 grain toast. It is wonderful! We are definitely hooked. I use Swerve sugar replacement (brown & granular) which has no affect on blood sugar and it tastes delicious.”
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Reader Stephanie says, “This is the most excellent flavored applebutter! Also, easy peasy recipe, I put in the crockpot for 12 hours, overnight and just blend it up in the morning.”
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Reader Alisha says, “I made this yesterday and it came out perfect. It was so perfect I went back to the store and bought a case of apples. Thanks. I wont ever be making jelly again. I love that it doesn’t have a ton of sugar.”
What is the difference between applesauce and apple butter?
Both apple butter and apple sauce are slow cooked apples and spices. Apple butter is cooked longer than applesauce which creates a thick, smooth, intensely apple flavored spread.
What apples are best for apple butter?
For apple butter, we like to use Mcintosh, Fuji, Red Delicious or Gala because they are easy to find in our stores. Although Granny Smith are great for baking, they are not recommended for apple butter.
Also, some apples are sweeter than others. You can adjust how much sugar you use based on how sweet your apple is.
Apples. Start with 6 ½ pounds of apples. Then peel and core them. This is enough apples to fill a 6 quart slow cooker.
Brown sugar and white sugar. For the perfect sweetness and richness.
Cinnamon. Yes, it is 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon. This is how my family prefers it. Use less if you’d like.
There are 5 steps to making apple butter in the Instant Pot. It’s definitely the faster way!
Prepare the apples. Peel, core and slice the apples.
Add the apples and remaining ingredients to the IP liner (You’ll need to add ½ cup apple juice if using the IP so you don’t get the “burn” warning”. Mix to coat. (Save the vanilla to add at the end if using the Instant Pot.
Seal and set for 15 minutes at high pressure. Allow to naturally release for 20 minutes.
Set the IP to “sauté” and simmer the apple butter for 8-10 minutes until it is the desired thickness. Watch closely and stir often. It may bubble and splatter as it heats. If it does this, turn off the IP until it cools slightly, then turn it on again.
How to Make Apple Butter Smooth
When your crockpot apple butter is done, you can leave it slightly chunky, which is awesome for recipes, or you can put it through the blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree it until it is your desired consistency.
We made two batches. One we left chunky and made one batch perfectly smooth. You know…for those picky texture eaters.
What can you make with apple butter?
My first bite reminded me of applesauce with a bit of tangto it. I love how when I put this homemade apple butter on a piece of white, fluffy bread or toast, it completely changes the flavor! Instant, fall-flavored bread. You can put it in muffins & biscuits.
I also like to put this homemade apple butter on custard ice cream. Warm it slightly in the microwave and use it as a syrup on ice cream or fluffy pancakes or waffles. You can even put a spoonful on top of yogurt or over oven baked pork chops. It also makes a great addition to a September or October themed cheese board.
Add the sugars, cinnamon, salt and vanilla to the crockpot. Mix well.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for about 10 hours, stirring every couple hours. The apple butter should be thick and dark brown.
If desired, use a blender to blend the apple butter into a purée until smooth.
Instant Pot Instructions:
Peel, core and slice the apples.
Add the apples and remaining ingredients to the IP liner (You'll need to add ½ cup apple juice if using the IP so you don't get the "burn" warning". Mix to coat. (Save the vanilla to add at the end if using the Instant Pot.)
Place the lid on and move valve to seal. Set for 15 minutes at high pressure. Allow to naturally release for 20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to blend the soft apples until the mixture is smooth.
Set the IP to "sauté" and simmer the apple butter for 8-10 minutes until it is the desired thickness. Watch closely and stir often. It may bubble and splatter as it heats. If it does this, turn off the IP until it cools slightly, then turn it on again.
Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze in small containers.
See canning instructions below.
Adjust the sugar to your liking.For different flavor variations, add ground cloves or ground nutmeg along wit the cinnamon.Many people have left reviews that they leave the peels on the apples. Feel free to do that if you’d like. We prefer the apples peeled.
This works best if you have everything at hand, ready to go. You’ll need mason jars, rings and lids.
Clean the mason jars by running them through the dishwasher or washing with hot, soapy water. Rinse and drain on a drying rack.
Place the rings and lids in a small saucepan and cover with water. Set the stovetop to low heat and bring the water with the rings/lids to a light simmer or steaming. Allow this to steam/simmer for 10 minutes. Don’t bring it to a full boil.
Fill the jars with apple butter up to 1/2″ from the top of the jar.
Use a clean towel or paper towel to dry the rim of the jars.Then take the hot lids/rings and place on of each on top, place the lid on the jar and tighten the ring around it.
Pressure Cook the Jars.
It’s important to read and follow the instructions for the pressure canner that you have as each one might be slightly different. Place the canner rack in the canner and fill the canner with water up to the line indicated. There isn’t much water needed. Ours is just a few inches.
Place the canner on the largest burner. Set the stovetop to medium-high heat. You want to process quart jars and pint jars separately since they take different amounts of time to process.
Place the jars (ours takes up to 10 pints) in the canner. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and lock it into place. Leave the weighted gauge off for right now.
Let the water boil inside until you see steam starting to come out of the steam spout. Once this happens, place the weighted gauge on the steam spout. At this time, the canner will start to pressurize.
Allow the pressure to rise until the dial gets to 5 pounds of pressure. At that point, set the timer for 8 minutes for pints. Watch the pressure dial gauge closely. If it starts to rise above 5 pounds, lower the heat. If it starts to drop below 5 pounds, raise the heat. Keep it as close to 5 pounds as possible for the time interval needed.
Once the time is up, turn off the heat, and allow the pressure to come to zero. Don’t touch the canner before that.
Once the gauge is reading zero, take off the weighted gauge and then loosen the lid to open the canner. Do this carefully and keep your face away from it because there may be steam trapped.
Use the jar lifters to lift each jar out of the canner. Be careful…they will be very hot!
Place them on a wire rack to cool completely. You may hear the jars “pop” which means they are sealing.
Allow the jars to cool completely, then check to make sure they are sealed.
About Julie Clark
I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.