Amish Apple Butter Recipe

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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.

A canning jar filled with this Amish Apple Butter Recipe sits on a wooden surface. The can lid rests on the side of the jar and an apple sits to the back right of the jar.

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 (crock pot) 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.

An overhead shot looking down into a canning jar filled with Amish Apple Butter.

What Makes The Best Apple Butter?

The best apple butter is, very simply, made with the best ingredients. The cooking processed 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
  • Fuji
  • Honeycrisp
  • Abrosia
  • Gala
  • Golden delicious
  • Red delicious

Ingredients

6 medium apples – Use the sweetest apples you can find. Peel them, core them and dice them.

¼ cup 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).

½ cup healthy 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.

1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon salt – I used pink Himalayan salt, but use whatever salt you normal cook with.

teaspoons pure vanilla extract – Make sure this is the real stuff. Not imitation or flavoring that has tons of processed sweetener or other ingredients.

Cored and peeled apples sit on a cutting board waiting to be chopped. A string of apple peel sits behind them.

How To Make Amish Apple Butter

As mentioned previously, there are several ways to make this Amish apple butter.

Instant Pot Apple Butter

All the Amish Apple Butter Recipe ingredients in a pot.

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.

Closing the steam valve on the Instant Pot before cooking.

Close the steam valve on the lid.

The timer on the Instant Pot adjusted to 8 minutes for cooking.

Cook for 8 minutes and allow a 10 minute natural release.

Blending the cooked ingredients in the cooking pot with an immersion blender.

Blend the apples until smooth with an immersion blender.

Venting the lid on the Instant Pot to further reduce the apple sauce to apple butter.

Press the “slow cook” button. Vent the lid with the handle of a wooden spoon.

The timer on the Instant Pot adjusted to 3 hours for apple butter reduction.

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

Placing the lid on the pot to cook the Amish Apple Butter Recipe.

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.

Securing the slow cooker lid to slow cook this Amish Apple Butter Recipe.

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 a chunkier apple butter, you can simply blend it less with the immersion blender.

A side view looking down into a canning jar filled with this Amish Apple Butter Recipe.

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 containers.

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.

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, wire rack. You don’t even need to do a water bath. Here are the tools you can use for this recipe.

More Traditional Apple Butter Recipes

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Amish Apple Butter Recipe

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A side view looking down into a canning jar filled with this Amish Apple Butter Recipe.

Amish Apple Butter

A rich, delicious apple spread for your morning toast or english muffin.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 8 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 28 minutes
Servings: 32 servings (approximately 2 pints)
Calories: 31kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Equipment

  • Large Pot OR
  • Instant Pot OR
  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

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.
    All the Amish Apple Butter Recipe ingredients in a pot.
  • 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.
    Blending the cooked ingredients in the cooking pot with an immersion blender.

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.
    All the Amish Apple Butter Recipe ingredients in a pot.
  • 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.
    Securing the slow cooker lid to slow cook this Amish Apple Butter Recipe.

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.
    All the Amish Apple Butter Recipe ingredients in a pot.
  • Close the steam valve on the lid.
    Closing the steam valve on the Instant Pot before cooking.
  • Cook for 8 minutes and allow a 10 minute natural release.
    The timer on the Instant Pot adjusted to 8 minutes for cooking.
  • Blend the apples until smooth with an immersion blender.
    Blending the cooked ingredients in the cooking pot with an immersion blender.
  • Press the "slow cook" button. Vent the lid with the handle of a wooden spoon.
    Venting the lid on the Instant Pot to further reduce the apple sauce to apple butter.
  • 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.
    The timer on the Instant Pot adjusted to 3 hours for apple butter reduction.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbsp. | Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Where do you buy brown xylitol. I cannot find it anywhere.

    1. Terri – I’m sorry, it’s actually Erythritol. The brand is Swerve. I get it at Whole Foods, but Amazon carries it too.

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