My favorite thing about fall is definitely orchard apples. Macintosh and macoun straight from the orchard just taste so much better than buying a regular old apple at the store in the middle of winter. They're crunchier, sweeter, and just all around better. So, when fall rolls around, I take advantage of the abundance of orchard apples to do a little baking, including homemade applesauce - this time in my instant Pot (or your slow cooker!)
I grew up enjoying homemade applesauce in the fall, made on the stovetop and finished with a food mill. I realized that I could re-create this recipe using my beloved Instant Pot (in just 8 minutes!) and my Vitamix. The recipe came out perfectly and was so easy to make - and much easier than hand cranking the food mill for half an hour.
The other great thing about applesauce is that it really doesn't matter what apples you use. It's actually better to not use all of the same kind. For this recipe, I used apples from my CSA, which came with a bunch of different varieties of apples. Macintosh or macoun are a good base, but adding in a few granny smiths or your other favorite varieties will give the applesauce a good range of sweet and tart flavors. For sweeteners, I love sweeter things, so I used refined white sugar (mmm!) You can also use maple syrup or honey, if you prefer, and add it after the cooking process to your own personal taste.
Sadly, I ate all of my applesauce within a few days, enjoying it as a snack at work whenever I wanted a little bit of sweetness to fuel me through lesson planning or grading papers. If you can resist, applesauce freezes well, meaning you can enjoy fall all year round.
Instant Pot Applesauce
Makes 6-8 servings
Other recipes with these ingredients: Apples: the perfect snack!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes (Instant Pot) or 4 hours on low (Slow Cooker)
Total Time: Depends on cooking method
- 8-10 medium apples (Orchard apples are the best. My favorite are Macintosh, but a variety, including a granny smith or too, will yield the best results)
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup white sugar Substitute: maple syrup, honey
Gluten Free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian, & Vegan
1. Peel all of your apples and cut into relatively thin slices.
2. Add the apples, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 cup white sugar (or sweetener of your choice) to the Instant Pot. You don't even have to stir.
3. Turn the Instant Pot on high pressure for 8 minutes, or turn your slow cooker on low for 4 hours. Walk away!
4. Once the apples are done cooking, you'll likely want to puree your applesauce so it's smooth. I found that adding about half the applesauce to my beloved Vitamix, blending it for a second or two on high, and stirring it back into the rest of the more chunky applesauce led to a good consistency. You can do the same in a regular blender or with a handheld immersion blender, if you have one, until the applesauce is your desired consistency. Enjoy!
Storing & Extra Ingredients
STORING - Store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or a few months in the freezer. Applesauce freezes really well since it's just fruit, and there's nothing better than tasting like you're at the orchard in the dead of winter.