I’vd had this Instant Pot applesauce recipe hanging out in my recipe files for a couple of years.
Quick turnaround, huh? 😉
Makes me think of that commercial “I’ve really got my act together this year!”
Gosh I love that commercial! I often joke about it with Paul. When I’ve run out the door with a sweater on backwards, or see I’ve worn my yoga tank inside out. #toomanytimes!
Anyhow, yeah, this applesauce has been sketched out on paper for a while. Even typed out, just about ready to post.
But, before I know it, we are into spring, Then summer, then I need to get photos done, and something else comes up, goes to back burner. Surely I’m not the only recipe developer that goes through this. If so, don’t tell me. 😉
Enough of the backstory! The instant pot applesauce is here, and it’s fabulously easy – tasty – SO smooth – and healthy.
Now, I’m not one that uses my instant pot daily. I know some of you do. But, for many of my uses, I need a bigger vessel than the IP I have.
Until I wanted to make my own applesauce. The instant pot truly is perfect for this use.
Why? Well, for starters, it’s fast (obviously). Not just fast, but it also cooks the apples very thoroughly so they become silky-smooth when pureed.
If, that is, you want that texture. How smooth you puree the applesauce is up to you. I use an immersion blender (I’ve had this one for years and it hasn’t ever let me down – I have burned out motors on others).
If you want a chunkier sauce, you can spot-puree, pulsing until you have the desired texture.
Another perk: Since the IP cooks the apples so thoroughly and quickly, there’s no need to precisely chop. I truly just give a quick slice on each side to remove the core, then whack a few more chops and pop straight into the IP. #done!
Instant Pot Applesauce: Special Note
The one caveat when using an instant pot (or other pressure cooker) for applesauce…
Be sure the pot (and seal) don’t carry strong odors!
As you IP’ers know, the seal, in particular, absorbs a lot of odors through cooking. It holds the smells of onion and garlic, and strong spices.
The first few batches of applesauce I made were just fine. But after a batch of ratatouille one night, well I guess I didn’t clean the IP well enough.
Then, the next batch of applesauce tasted – uh, savory??!!! 😩 The girls noticed it too. 😩😩 It wasn’t usable, sadly. 😩😩😩
I could distinctly taste the savory odors on the applesauce. I think the pot insert itself needed a second clean as well as the seal – perhaps with vinegar and lemon juice.
Some say the odors don’t transfer to the food – but in this case, it most certainly did.
So, that’s my PSA. Please ensure you don’t waste your apples – and worse, the applesauce – due to a stinky IP seal!
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to making instant pot applesauce!
The recipe is pretty straightforward. There are a few notes of interest, so be sure to read those before cracking on!
Enjoy, guys. Let me know how you like it. x Dreena
Smooth, silky sugar-free applesauce you can make in just minutes!
- 14-15 cups roughly chopped apples organic preferred, peeling optional cubed (cores discarded) – about 3 lbs cubed (see note about sweetness)
- few squeezes fresh lemon juice about 2-3 tsp
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon see note about color
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder optional
- pinch salt optional
- optional: 1-2 pitted dates or touch of pure maple syrup to sweeten see note
Add apple chunks, cinnamon, vanilla bean powder and sea salt (if using) to pressure cooker. Set pressure cooker manually to cook at high pressure for 7 minutes, place on lid and allow to come to pressure and cook. After the 7 minutes of cooking, turn off cooker and allow natural release. Once pressure is released, remove lid. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture to desired texture (can leave chunkier or fully puree for a very smooth texture). Taste, and if you’d like a little sweeter or more cinnamon, adjust to taste.
- Peeling Apples: The peels can be left on the apples, they make the applesauce a little darker in color, but otherwise fine.
- Cinnamon note: The addition of cinnamon gives lovely flavor, however it does darken the applesauce. It’s up to you, you can omit it and then add a touch after pureeing, adjusting to taste. A few pinches of grated nutmeg can also be added.
- Sweetener note: The variety of apple used will determine the sweetness of the applesauce. If you aren’t sure how sweet the final applesauce will be with the apples you are using, I recommend not adding any sweetener. I don’t, though I do use sweeter apples for my applesauce (such as fuji and gala). After cooking and pureeing, if you’d like it sweeter, stir in a drizzle of maple syrup – or, place 1-2 dates in the hot applesauce to soak, and and then puree again once dates have softened. For a sweeter applesauce, add a couple of pitted dates (let soften in mixture for a few minutes) or a few teaspoons of maple syrup and puree through. Remove pot insert from pressure cooker to help speed cooling of the applesauce. Once fully cooled, transfer to jars to refrigerate or containers to freeze.
- Idea: Switch up a portion of the apples for seasonal pears.
photos by Angela MacNeil