9/13/17

0 Apple Butter - Pressure Cooker


Apple Butter is essentially a super thickened applesauce, cooked slowly so the sugar caramelizes and turns into this sweet, cinnamon-y, deep brown spread that is a wonderful Fall treat. Since apples naturally contain pectin, it is very similar to an apple jelly.

Most recipes call for slow cooking over 14-20 hours, and using your pressure cooker will definitely help reduce this cooking time!

This was my first time making apple butter and I wasn't sure how "thick" the consistency should be. Apple butter does thicken while it cools, so if it is too thick for you, you can add some apple juice to thin it out to your desired texture. Apples can vary widely in water content, depending on the variety and growing conditions.

I used my Instant Pot Ceramic liner for making this apple butter. I loved the fact that I didn't have to worry about the sauce burning and sticking to the pot. This ceramic liner is great for anything that can stick: rice, oatmeal, Macaroni & Cheese.

You will want to use a heat resistant silicone spatula or a wooden spoon while stirring, as not to scratch the finish.



Apples that work best are sweet, meaty apples like Gala, McIntosh, Winesap or any of the baking apples found on this applesauce post. Using a mix of apples will create a unique final product. Don't use Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples as they are too tart or too sweet for this recipe.

  • Braeburn - sweet/tart
  • Cameo
  • Cortland - similar to McIntosh, but sweeter/tarter
  • Crispin (Mutsu)
  • Empire - very sweet when baked
  • Fuji -sweet/tart,watery
  • Gala - thin skinned, but grainy texture
  • Golden Delicious - sweet, thin skinned
  • Gravenstein
  • Ida Red
  • Jonagold - sweet, thin skinned
  • Jonamac
  • Jonathan
  • Liberty
  • McIntosh - strong structure of pectin
  • Newtown Pippin
  • Rome Beauty - mild, thick skin
  • Stayman
  • Winesap


Cutting & Peeling I love using this Apple corer, peeler, spiralizer. It is so FAST  - it took less than 10 minutes to prep 4 pounds of apples.


You can opt to leave the peels on, but you do need to core and cut the apples. This Apple Slicer/Corer does a quick job.



Sugars 
This recipe uses 1 cup of sugar for every pound of apples, which is very sweet. You can use any combination of sugars, and brown sugar will give your apple butter a taste of molasses. Sugar is necessary in making preserves to help it set up, gel or thicken, and increase the shelf life.

You can reduce the amount of sugars, but your finished apple butter may be more runny, need a longer cooking time, and end up yielding less. Since I am planning to can or preserve this apple butter, the recommended amount of sugar will ensure that it will have the maximum shelf life. When sugar is decreased, the shelf life of your apple butter is decreased.

This apple butter turned out much better than I anticipated - got a "double thumbs up" from all of my family members and I can't wait to try it with other foods!

Use this utterly delicious spread on freshly baked bread, toast, pancakes, muffins, swirl it through oatmeal, fresh yogurt, mix in smoothies, spread on crepes, waffles, or make a cookie sandwich filling with oatmeal cookies.

Enjoy!



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Pressure Cooker Apple Butter
Adapted from Ball Blue Book of Preserving
Ingredients
4 pounds of apples, about 16 medium (I used 13 McIntosh apples)
1/4 cup water, apple juice or yogurt whey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
**4 cups sugar
     **I used a 50/50 mix of granulated and light brown sugar -adding sugar is OPTIONAL. I am using sugar in the recipe as directed by Ball Canning to can it for an extended shelf life.

Instructions
Wash apples
Core and cut the apples into eighths. You can peel the apples, if desired.
Put apples into pressure cooker insert.
Pour water or apple juice into cooker.
Dump sugars and spices on top of prepared apples.
Do not stir.
Close the pressure cooker lid,
Set pressure valve to Sealing.
Select HIGH (manual) pressure for 10-15 min.
(longer time for larger cut apples)
When cook time is finished, use at least a 15 min natural release.
You can allow the cooker to fully release pressure on its own, if desired.
Open pressure release valve and cooker lid.
Puree the apples, using a potato masher, immersion blender, food processor or stand blender.
With the pureed apples in the pressure cooker,
Select Saute Low (use the adjust button to get the Low setting)
Set your timer for 30 min. (You will need to restart the Saute setting every 30 minutes)
Stir every 30 min, until desired thickness is reached, about 45 - 90 minutes.
As the apple butter thickens, you will need to stir more frequently.
To check for consistency, put a small plate in the freezer for a few minutes.
Put a small spoonful of apple butter onto the chilled plate. If liquid leaches out around the apple butter, it needs to cook a little longer. If not, it is ready.

Yield approximately 5-6 cups

Keeps well in refrigerator 1-3 weeks
Freezer 1-3 months
Process for water bath canning for up to 2 year shelf life



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