The Absolute Best Instant Pot Applesauce

published Oct 22, 2019
Instant Pot Applesauce

Instant Pot applesauce isn't just the fastest way to make homemade applesauce — it's also the most delicious. Plus, you only need a few ingredients (and less than an hour).

Makes1 quart

Prep15 minutes

Cook35 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Pearl Jones/Kitchn

Here’s what happens to me every single fall. I drag my family apple picking, everyone except me hates it (well, they like the cider donuts, but that’s it), and I always buy too many apples. This used to be an excuse for me to spend the day simmering apples for applesauce, but recently I discovered the sheer joy of cooking applesauce in the Instant Pot — and I’m never cooking it another way again.

Instant Pot applesauce isn’t only the easiest applesauce you can make at home — it’s also the most delicious (and the prettiest!).

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Pearl Jones/Kitchn

How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce

Instant Pot applesauce really is as easy as throwing some apple chunks into your Instant Pot, adding a little water and lemon juice, and setting it to cook for five minutes. But a few small steps will ensure that your Instant Pot applesauce is near perfect.

  1. Add water and lemon juice to the apples. The water ensures you don’t encounter the dreaded BURN error on your Instant Pot, and the lemon juice keeps the apple color vibrant.
  2. Release most of the pressure naturally. This prevents a foamy, overcooked applesauce (rapidly releasing the pressure causes the sauce to boil and potentially overcook).
  3. Wait to sweeten your applesauce until it’s finished. This way, you can taste and adjust the sweetness based on the apples you brought home, and you won’t end up with a sickly sweet batch of sauce.

After cooking and cooling, store this applesauce for up to seven days in the fridge. It also freezes incredibly well in quart-sized batches (in case you, too, buy too many apples).

Instant Pot Applesauce

Instant Pot applesauce isn't just the fastest way to make homemade applesauce — it's also the most delicious. Plus, you only need a few ingredients (and less than an hour).

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 4

    large sweet apples (about 1 1/2 pounds total), such as Honeycrisp or Gala

  • 4

    large tart apples (about 1 1/2 pounds total), such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious

  • 1/2 cup

    water

  • 2 tablespoons

    freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Peel 4 large sweet apples and 4 large tart apples. Halve and core them, then cut them into large chunks. Place the chunks in an electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot.

  2. Add 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and stir to distribute the cinnamon as evenly as possible.

  3. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook for 5 minutes under HIGH pressure. It should take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure.

  4. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure.

  5. Uncover the pressure cooker. For chunky applesauce, use a potato masher to mash the apples to the desired consistency. For smooth applesauce, use an immersion blender to purée the applesauce directly in the pot until smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  6. Taste the applesauce and, while it's still warm, add 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar, if desired. When cool, transfer the applesauce to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.