Wash, peel, and core all of your apples and place them in your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker.
Add water, pitted dates, spices, and vanilla extract to the Instant Pot. Mix everything together and then put the lid on the Instant Pot.
Set the Instant Pot to Manual or Pressure Cook and cook at high pressure for 8 minutes.
Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release pressure.
Remove the cinnamon sticks from the apple mixture and place to the side. Purée the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth.
Turn on the Sauté function, select “Less” and thicken the apple butter until your desired consistency while stirring occasionally. If you would like, you can return the cinnamon sticks to the pot to simmer with the apple butter to intensify the cinnamon flavor. It will take you about 30 minutes to 1 hour to reach the proper apple butter consistency. If you are short on time, add the optional brown sugar and the apple butter will thicken faster.
To store the apple butter you can place it in jars and place it in the refrigerator or you can freeze the apple butter in freezer bags. The apple butter will keep in the fridge for a few weeks and will stay fresh in the freezer for a few months.