Apple Butter for Days

I’m honestly not sure what possessed me to make apple butter in my Instant Pot. It may be because fall is my favorite time of year. Or, perhaps it was the abundance of apples when I went shopping for other fun food for my daughter’s midterm break. More likely, I saw something on social media about apple butter and I decided if that person could do it, I could give it a whirl too.

As I mentioned before, I am glad I purchased more apples than I needed since my youngest treated the apples like they were a meal for the better part of the week.

I thought it would be a good idea to give the apples a nice bath in the sink. I put clean, cool water into the sink with white vinegar and squeezed half a fresh lemon in for good measure.

Aside from the fact that everyone and their brothers could have touched these apples & I did not plan to peel them, I also like to remove as much of any waxy coating I can. These weren’t organic apples.

Once I had them washed and dried, I set about coring and slicing them. Again, I didn’t want to remove the skins because I had it in my head they might add to the thickness of the end product and I, personally, like to eat apple peels with wild abandon. My favorite days were when my Grandma had to peel a bunch of apples for something, but didn’t need the peels. She could cut them in one, long strip and I would share them with my sister (or eat them all–it depends on which of us is telling the story).

I decided to weigh the apples as I went, so I put my big Pyrex batter bowl on my kitchen scale, zeroed it out and started adding sliced apples until I hit the magic measurement.

Four pounds of apples fills the Instant Pot 6 quart right up, but I still had some slices left over once I hit four pounds. You have not seen a happier black lab in all your life than when Mom hands over some sliced apples.

Lily is a big fan and Gibson isn’t far behind.

Once I had the apples into the Instant Pot, I set about measuring the other ingredients. I used this recipe as the base for my apple butter. I also added some cardamom because , for some reason, I couldn’t find cloves in my cupboard.

I also took her advice and went 1/2 white sugar and 1/2 brown. That seemed to make good sense to me.

I used a 1/4 cup of water in my pressure cooker, but the next time I make this, I plan to either have apple cider or apple juice on hand to use. Why not!? The more apples, the merrier.

After everything inside the pot appeared to be in order, I put the lid on, punched the right buttons and let the Instant Pot do the work. Once the machine let me know it’s job was done, I turned off the pressure cooker (so it wouldn’t stay on the warming function & keep the pressure from dissipating in a timely way) and allowed it to do its natural release.

Once the pin dropped, I opened the lid–this smelled like heaven! I was surprised at how intact the apples still appeared to be in different areas of the pot. Once I had a good look at everything, it was time to bring out the immersion blender and set about breaking the contents all the way down, so sauteing could begin.

Breaking down the contents with the immersion blender didn’t take as long as I imagined it would.

Once it was all smooth, it was just a matter of sauteing for 30 minutes four times (or until I hit the consistency and color I wanted).

This nice thing about the Instant Pot saute function is that it runs for 30 minutes and then automatically stops–and beeps.

Because this didn’t require constant stirring, I could let it bubble along, uncovered, and stir occasionally. The pot alerted me when the 30-minute cycle had finished & I could just restart the saute function once again.

This project was so easy and super satisfying. I shared apple butter with friends and family and they were so happy to have it–especially after they tasted it. I will definitely be making this again. And, maybe next time, it will be pumpkin apple butter!

Don’t be scared to try new things in your Instant Pot–or to try your Instant Pot in the first place. It is a pretty handy gadget with a ton of uses!

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