This Amish apple butter recipe is a delicious autumn treat, straight from your crock pot! (Or Instant Pot, or just a pot on the stove!)
The smell of apple butter brings back autumn childhood memories for everybody I know. A rich flavor shared with family on special occasions makes these old time recipes favorite recipes for generation after generation. A good apple butter, like many family favorites, can conjure up wonderful memories for years to come.
Time-Honored Amish Recipes
The Pennsylvania Dutch and the Amish have the market cornered on apple butter. With 20,000 acres of apple-producing land in Pennsylvania, apples are a serious business and are a popular product for the Amish to sell.
If you’ve made homemade apple sauce before, then you’re familiar with making apple butter. It’s the same process, just with more spices and a longer cooking time to cook out more of the water content.
As with homemade applesauce, you can use either an Instant Pot, a slow cooker (crockpot), or a pot on the stove. I give you instructions for all methods below.
What Is Amish Apple Butter?
If you’ve had apple butter before, you know it’s a rich apple spread with spices. Amish apple butter has a reputation of being more “wholesome” due to the lifestyle the Amish lead. They use real food ingredients to make their meals.
However, even the Amish use regular, processed sugar. This recipe avoids that.
Is Apple Butter Unhealthy?
If you purchase apple butter at the grocery store, it’s generally speaking, not the healthiest. Many contain corn syrup, processed sugar (such as dark brown sugar) citric acid, and other preservatives that the homemade variety doesn’t.
While it’s not the worst thing you could have in small amounts, enough eaten over time may be more on the unhealthy side.
Homemade apple butter can be completely healthy if made with the proper ingredients.
What Makes The Best Apple Butter?
The best apple butter is, very simply, made with the best ingredients. The cooking process isn’t hurried and no spice is skimped on. The rich full flavors are fully developed and the finished spread has a very smooth, easy-to-spread, texture.
Best Apples For Apple Butter
While tart apples are great for some recipes, the best apples for this recipe are sweet apples. And often, the best apple butter is made from a variety of apples. So pick several of your favorite for this recipe and mix them all together.
- Pink lady
- Golden delicious
- Red delicious
Ingredients For The Best Apple Butter Recipe
(Print recipe from recipe card below)
Apples – Use the sweetest apples you can find. Peel them, core them, and dice them.
Water – If you want extra apple flavor, you can use unsweetened apple juice as well. (If using an Instant Pot, you’ll need 1 cup).
Sweetener – Sucanat, coconut sugar, monk fruit, honey, or maple syrup. Whatever you have on hand. I personally used brown xylitol because it’s what’s easiest on my blood sugar. If your apples are especially sweet, you can cut the amount of sugar in half.
Ground nutmeg – If you really enjoy nutmeg, you can grate your own fresh nutmeg for a wonderful flavor.
Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt, but use whatever salt you normally cook with.
Pure vanilla extract – Make sure this is the real stuff. Not imitation or flavoring that has tons of processed sweetener or other ingredients.
How To Make Amish Apple Butter
As mentioned previously, there are several ways to make this Amish apple butter.
Instant Pot Apple Butter
If you prefer to pressure cook your apple butter, you’ll follow the recipe, but place everything into your pressure cooker with 1 cup of liquid instead of a ¼ cup. Use the manual setting and cook on high pressure.
Close the steam valve on the lid.
Cook for 8 minutes and allow a 10-minute natural release.
Blend the apples until smooth with an immersion blender.
Press the “slow cook” button. Vent the lid with the handle of a wooden spoon.
Cook for an additional 3 hours, or until the butter has thickened. It will thicken further in the fridge. Stir a few times during this part of the cooking process.
Stove Top Apple Butter
Place all ingredients in a large pot with a full ½ cup of apple juice. Bring to high heat and reduce to simmer. Cook covered until the apples are soft.
Blend the apples using an immersion blender, directly in the pot. Then continue to simmer until the apple butter thickens. Note that it will thicken further once it cools.
Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Place all the ingredients into a large slow cooker. The size of your slow cooker should be somewhere between 4-6 quarts. The crock should be at least half full to cook properly. So adjust the size of your slow cooker accordingly.
Once the apples are soft, you’ll blend them with an immersion blender.
Then vent the lid with the handle of a wooden spoon, and continue to cook on low for 6-8 hours. The apple butter will thicken further as it cools.
The Perfect Spread
To get the best texture from your apple butter, you can do things the old-fashioned way and use a food mill. But they tend to be pretty cumbersome.
A more modern and efficient method is to use an immersion blender. A blender will work too for very smooth apple butter. But you’ll have to work in batches. You can also use a food processor if you cool the cooked apple butter slightly for the plastic processor tub.
Note that if you enjoy chunkier apple butter, you can simply blend it less with the immersion blender.
How To Store Apple Butter
Homemade apple butter will not last as long in the fridge as the stuff you buy from the store. A jar of this will last about 2 weeks. So whatever you can’t eat within that timeframe, should be properly stored. Read on…
Can You Freeze Apple Butter?
Yes! One of the best ways I’ve found is to freeze it in ice cube trays so you can take as much as you like out of the freezer, a little at a time. But if you prefer to freeze it in a larger portion, do so in a freezer-safe, airtight container.
Apple butter will freeze for up to one year.
Small Batch Amish Apple Butter Recipe
If you prefer a smaller batch, you can cut this recipe in half.
How To Serve Amish Apple Butter
There are a few delicious ways to serve Amish apple butter.
- On toast
- On an English muffin
- With crackers
- Over Ice cream
Need Supplies For This Amish Apple Butter Recipe?
A slow cooker is a great option for this recipe. But if you don’t have one, this can easily be made in a pot as well. You won’t need a mixing bowl or wire rack. Here are the tools you can use for this recipe.
More Traditional Apple Butter Recipes
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Amish Apple Butter Recipe Card
Note: This recipe is not formulated for canning. I know nothing about canning. Please show this recipe to a master canner first if you wish to try it.
Amish Apple Butter
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- Large Pot OR
- Instant Pot OR
- Slow Cooker
- 6 medium apples (cored and diced)
- ¼ cup water (or unsweetened apple juice – 1 cup if using an instant pot)
- ½ cup Sucanat (or coconut sugar, monk fruit, honey, maple syrup)
- 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Stove Top Apple Butter
- Place all ingredients in a large pot with a full ½ cup of water or apple juice. Bring to high heat and reduce to simmer. Cook covered until the apples are soft.
- Blend the apples using an immersion blender, directly in the pot. Then continue to simmer until the apple butter thickens. Note that it will thicken further once it cools.
Slow Cooker Apple Butter
- Place all the ingredients into a large slow cooker. The size of your slow cooker should be somewhere between 4-6 quarts. The crock should be at least half full to cook properly. So adjust the size of your slow cooker accordingly.Once the apples are soft, you'll blend them with an immersion blender.
- Then vent the lid with the handle of a wooden spoon, and continue to cook on low for 6-8 hours. The apple butter will thicken further as it cools.
Instant Pot Apple Butter
- Follow the recipe, but place everything into your pressure cooker with 1 cup of liquid instead of a ¼ cup. Use the manual setting and cook on high pressure.
- Close the steam valve on the lid.
- Cook for 8 minutes and allow a 10 minute natural release.
- Blend the apples until smooth with an immersion blender.
- Press the "slow cook" button. Vent the lid with the handle of a wooden spoon.
- Cook for an additional 3 hours, or until the butter has thickened. It will thicken further in the fridge. Stir a few times during this part of the cooking process.