There’s no fall recipe simpler than this Instant Pot Apple Butter! While stove-top instructions are provided, the Instant Pot makes this vegan apple butter ridiculously easy and fast. Spread it on toast, use it in baking, and more!
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Hey Internet, I’m loving these early days of fall. It’s not too cold, it’s not too hot, the leaves are just starting to yellow up here in the northern midwest United States and I’m diving head first into the fall recipes. Making apple butter is a no brainer!
This recipe perfectly complements many of my other fall recipes such as apple pie vegan baked oatmeal, vegan apple cake, vegan pumpkin risotto, pumpkin and sweet potato soup, butternut squash carrot ginger soup (also made in the Instant Pot), and vegan Instant Pot corn chowder.
I won’t bore you with a long story about how I first tried apple butter at Peace Valley Fruit Orchard in Northeast Ohio--which is true, but there really isn’t a story about it. I just did.
ANYWAY, I’ve loved apple butter since then and I really don’t know why I never tried to make it. It’s really easy--whether you have an Instant Pot or not, I hope you’ll try it.
Oh and keep in mind when I talk about Instant Pots, I really mean any countertop electric pressure cooker. When I was looking to purchase one a few years ago, I did a LOT of research and decided I’d read the best things about the Instant Pot brand and I’ve loved it ever since.
And if you’ve never made apple butter at home before, you definitely have to try it!
So this vegan apple butter recipe -- I mean, there’s nothing that specifically MAKES it vegan. Some recipes use non-organic sugar, which means that it MAY be processed with animal bone char.
Additionally, if the recipe uses honey, that isn’t vegan. If you want the flavor of honey in your homemade apple butter, try my vegan honey.
But not the point. You’re here for an awesomely awesome apple butter recipe and yes, it’s vegan.
It’s also simple, full of apple goodness, and pretty fast, especially if you use the Instant Pot.
I also made so much of this recipe because A) it makes a lot and B) I was testing it. So this vegan apple butter recipe is being published alongside my vegan apple butter thumbprint cookies!
I also made this fun apple butter board for my hubby and I to snack on. I spread most of the apple butter on a wooden serving board and topped it with granola, pecans, homemade vegan goat cheese, raw pumpkin seeds, and served it with medjool dates and tortilla chips I made by tipping tortilla slices in melted vegan butter and sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar and baking them.
Okay, but back to the instant pot apple butter.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Juice: I used orange juice here because I love how it complements and brightens the apple flavor. However, apple cider, apple juice (I’d recommend NOT from concentrate), or even just water will work, though it will be less flavorful. I think the more traditional option is apple cider, but you do you.
- Coconut sugar: Any sugar will work or you’re welcome to omit it. I think coconut sugar,is warm and fall-ish so it’s perfect for this dish. Organic cane sugar, light brown sugar, agave, etc. all work.
- Ground cinnamon: It’s not completely necessary, but highly recommended: cinnamon! I really love ground cinnamon in this recipe, and it also gives this homemade apple butter its rich brown color.
- Optional spices: You can choose to add a touch of ginger (freshly grated or powdered) here if you like a little zing in your vegan apple butter. Or a quarter teaspoon ground cloves would be good.
- Apples: Any apples you like will work great for this recipe. If you have some apples that are not the best texture, or not sweet enough (add a bit more sugar), they’re great to use in this recipe. I love using Rave apples with this recipe.
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How to Make Instant Pot Apple Butter
- Note: This recipe will work in any pressure cooker, but buttons may be called by other names on non-Instant Pot brand pressure cookers (and in some cases on other models of the Instant Pot brand!). Consult your manual for any questions based on your specific brand of pressure cooker. The Instant Pot I’m using is an Instant Pot Duo 6qt.
- You can choose to either peel or not peel your apples. I like to leave the skin on as it has extra nutrients. If you want to peel your apples, try this awesome peeler.
- Add the orange juice (other other liquid) to your pressure cooker first. Then add the apples, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and ginger or ground cloves if using. Give it a good stir.
- Place on the lid, set the pressure valve to “sealing” and cook on Manual or High Pressure (or just press Pressure Cook) for 4 minutes. Yup, just 4 minutes!
- When the pressure cooker is done, use a cooking spoon to carefully release the pressure by switching the pressure valve to “venting” and let the pressure release completely before you open the lid. With Instant Pots, the pressure button will be in the lowered position--please consult the manual of your pressure cooker for safety.
- Strain out the excess liquid (I save mine for smoothies!). You could also throw it in a pot on the stovetop and cook it over low heat for 10 or so minutes to thicken it more.
- Add the cooked apples to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, and stir in lemon juice to taste.
- Transfer the finished product to a jar or two and let it cool a bit before storing.
- Refrigerate homemade apple butter for up to 5 days. It will thicken a bit in the fridge.
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How to Make Stovetop Vegan Apple Butter
- First add your peeled or unpeeled diced apples to a medium pot and add the rest of the ingredients except the lemon. Give everything a good stir.
- Cook over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until the apples are soft enough to mush with your spoon.
- Now strain out the excess liquid (I saved it for a smoothie!) and add the apples to a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth and stir in lemon juice to taste.
- Transfer apple butter to a jar or two and let it cool a bit before storing.
- Refrigerate homemade apple butter for up to 5 days. It will thicken somewhat as it cools.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can store this apple butter in a jar or two and refrigerate for up to 5 days. However, you can also go the canning route which will last much longer. Follow proper canning procedures if you plan to store these unrefrigerated. I’ve never canned anything before so please do your own research. I would love to try canning one day, though! I just need more pantry space before I do!
Apple butter is a versatile and delicious condiment. The classic way to enjoy it? On toast! You can also enjoy it between layers of pancakes, with waffles, on top of your oatmeal, etc. Not feeling it for breakfast? Try apple butter with peanut butter or almond butter in a sandwich, or try it on top of a baked sweet potato! If you’re feeling like baking something fun, try these vegan apple butter thumbprint cookies! They’re super easy, super delicious, and they still leave you with plenty of apple butter for other meals. There’s also this fun apple butter board I made for the photos. I spread most of the apple butter on a wooden serving board and topped it with granola, pecans, homemade vegan goat cheese, raw pumpkin seeds, and served it with medjool dates and tortilla chips I made by tipping tortilla slices in melted vegan butter and sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar.
Can I halve this apple butter recipe?
If you feel like this recipe might make more than you can eat and you don’t want to follow canning procedures, you can easily halve or quarter the recipe. I would pressure cook for 3 minutes for half the amount, or 2 minutes for a quarter of the amount. If you want to make it on the stove, it will also take less time. But just check the apples sooner.They’re ready when you can easily mash a fork into them.
More Vegan Fall Recipes
Fall is one of my favorite seasons, and part of it’s the food! I love apples, cranberries, winter squash, and pomegranates, as well as some of the less obvious fall produce.
Try out one or more of these vegan fall recipes:
- Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal
- Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup (Instant Pot instructions included)
- Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup
- Vegan Pumpkin Risotto
- Vegan Apple Cake
- Pomegranate Salad with Oranges and Pecans
- Vegan Corn Chowder (Instant Pot instructions included)
- Lentil Mushroom Loaf
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Vegan Mushroom Gravy
I really love apples so I made a vegan apple recipes post with ideas from other food bloggers too (with their permission of course.Print