Delicious spiced Pressure Cooker Apple Butter with Malt whiskey which basically makes itself in the pressure cooker. A lovely fall spread for toast, in apple cider donuts or countless other recipes. Making it yourself is cheaper and you can control the amount of sugar that goes into it.
Why You Want This
Hard to find in some areas
With Apple Butter being from the US, I had a hard time finding any around me in Ireland, but I really wanted to make Apple Cider Donuts with it, so what do I do? Make it of course.
If you are in the same boat, this is for you.
Now, I did see “Irish Black Butter” online, which is pretty much apple butter made with cider, but again, none anywhere near me. So homemade it is. Plus, looking at the prices, this stuff is expensive! About 6€ for one small jar! I can sure do it cheaper at home.
Apples – With apples being in season, it’s just the right time to make the most of them. I’ve been adding them to all kinds of dishes lately, from Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal with Apple and Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds over Sourdough Pumkin Muffins with Apples (coming soon) to the Apple Cider Donuts I made with this and will also be posting during the next few weeks.
Type of apples: You can use any you have on hand. In Ireland, Bramley apples are used, which is a cooking apple that breaks down entirely. I have used Pink Lady, as it’s my favourite that I always have on hand. They are sweet but crunchy with a nice bit of acidity and easily available in all supermarkets here. Use your favourite. That way you know you’ll love your Apple Butter.
Sweeteners – While I love brown sugar, I prefer a mix of different sweeteners in my cooking, as it adds layers of flavour. I’m replacing half of the brown sugar here with molasses for that deep richness with hints of bitter and maple syrup, which always tastes like fall to me with its caramel undertones.
Whiskey – I’m also adding a hint of Scottish Malt Whiskey. Talisker to be specific, a long term favourite of mine. Not just for the malt flavour, though, as you probably noticed if you read any of my bread recipes, I’m a big fan of anything malt, but also because it adds that hint of peat smokiness, again as reminder of fall. Considering it has orchard fruit notes itself, it integrates perfectly into this Apple Butter.
I have seen other versions using bourbon and, as the Irish producer has shown, you clearly could use cider.
Spices – I have used Pumpkin Spice here, as I had some pre-mixed from previous recipes. If you can’t find it, mix your own. It’s a base of 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8th tsp clove, ¼ tsp allspice and ¼ tsp nutmeg. Since I live in Ireland, where it’s not easily available in supermarkets, I usually mix a bigger batch and keep it in a little container in my spice cupboard.
Alternatively you could just use cinnamon.
The few mentioned above make already the main part of your ingredients. A pinch of salt, a bit of vanilla, though even that is optional, but it rounds the flavour I feel, and that’s already it.
With the fact that you really don’t need to peel your apples and the pressure cooker doing most of the work for you, this will happily bubble away in the background, while you get on with your day.
Only in the last 2h, with your cooker open, you’ll need to stir now and then to prevent sticking. But that’s minimal effort.
In short: Remove the core from the apples and roughly chop them. No need to peel.
For a little more detail: Please wash your apples thoroughly. Most are waxed or otherwise treated and if cooked, all that rather bitter flavour, if left on the skin, will be even more concentrated. Not pleasant! I tend to scrub mine with a bit of dish soap and a sponge under warm water, then rinse thoroughly.
Back in time, after my grandma showed me how she cored apples, I always thought it’s just so much work! The meticulous carving to get out the core. And I understand why: No wasting of precious apples. But it really stopped me from making more apple recipes.
These days, I just chop down straight in 4 pieces, leaving the core intact. Then munch the upper and lower bits around it as snack while chopping. That way, I feel nothing gets wasted and I get to snack on apples. Win/win.
Just chop the apples roughly here, they will cook down anyway and get pureed in the end.
I’m using my Sage Fast Slow Pro here, which I got on special for half price years ago. I love it dearly, especially for risotto, which on the hob, with the endless stirring, I plain don’t have the patience to make. (Let me know if you’d like a recipe for that) Again, not affiliated, just what I’m using.
Add the chopped apples, followed by brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, whiskey (if using), spice, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Stir so all your apple pieces are coated with the sugar-spice mix.
Close your pressure cooker, set to “High” and 90 minutes.
Once the time is up, release the pressure (My Sage does that all by itself) and open the lid.
Stir the now soft apples. They should be half falling apart already, but with a lot of liquid still.
We’ll be cooking that down to the typical apple butter consistency now.
With the lid open (or in a pot on the hob, if your cooker doesn’t allow you to use it with the lid open), set your cooker to “Slow Cook”, high for 2h. Stir occasionally, watching the texture. Towards the end of the 2h, most of your liquid should be evaporated and the apples pretty much disintegrated. Once it feels like it’s close to sticking to the bottom of the pot and has reached a consistency you like. It should be thick enough to spread on toast.
Have a taste. Does it need more spice or sugar? Now is the time to add it and stir it in.
This is the step where your apple mash with pieces of peel becomes true Apple Butter.
Let your Apple Butter cool a little in your pressure cooker, so you don’t burn yourself when taking out the pot. Pour all the contents from your pressure into a blender. A food processor or immersion blender works too. Blend until it has a uniform creamy and thick consistency, and no bits of peel are left whole. They should be all pulverized.
Fill into very clean jars that have a lid and let it cool.
Store in the fridge. It should keep for up to 3 months. Or you could freeze it after it has cooled in small freezer bags or containers. That way it’ll last until the next apple season is due, about a year.
Enjoy your Pressure Cooker Apple Butter with Malt on Toast, on my Sourdough Pumpkin Soda Bread with Protein, add to cakes, stir into your oatmeal, the possibilities are endless.
Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?
If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.
Pressure Cooker Apple Butter with Malt
- Pressure cooker, Blender
- 3 lb apples
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp single malt whiskey optional
- Wash your apples thoroughly to remove any wax or residue. Chop the apples by cutting straight down around the core, then cut into rough pieces. No need to peel the apples.
- Place the chopped apples in your pressure cooker.
- Add brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, pumpkin spice, vanilla extract, whiskey (if using) and a pinch of salt. Stir, so all your apple pieces are coated with the sugar-spice mix.
- Close your pressure cooker, set it to "High" pressure, and cook for 90 minutes.
- Once the cooking time is up, release the pressure according to your pressure cooker's instructions and open the lid.
- Stir the softened apples; they should be half falling apart with plenty of liquid.
- With the lid open (or in a pot on the hob if your cooker doesn't allow open-lid use), set your cooker to "Slow Cook," high for 2 hours.
- Stir occasionally, monitoring the texture. Toward the end of the 2 hours, most of the liquid should have evaporated, and the apples should have mostly disintegrated.
- Continue cooking until it's close to sticking to the bottom of the pot and has reached your desired apple butter consistency. It should be thick enough to spread on toast. It will thicken slightly after cooling.
- Taste and adjust the spice or sugar if needed. Stir in any additional seasoning.
- Let your apple butter cool slightly in the pressure cooker to avoid burning yourself.
- Pour the contents from the pressure cooker into a blender, food processor, or use an immersion blender.
- Blend until you achieve a uniform creamy and thick consistency, ensuring that no bits of peel remain whole; they should all be pulverized.
- Fill the apple butter into clean jars with lids and allow it to cool.
Carbohydrates: Approximately 16-18 grams per serving
Fiber: Approximately 2-3 grams per serving
Sugars: Approximately 12-14 grams per serving