A couple of years ago, Matthew and I were living in Virginia, Ryan was off flying his C-17 or 747 (I don’t remember which… some kind of big airplane!), and it was fall. Y’all, I LOVE fall. If you haven’t figured that out already from my Instagram, boots, leggings, sweaters, hot coffee, cool weather, and all things fall-food are my jam. Chili is the best Sunday afternoon linner you can think of, particularly with a football game on. I also love pumpkin patches and apple orchards. So, one day, our neighbor (who had a son Matthew’s age) and I decided we’d head out to the apple orchard. Mind you, I was probably 34 weeks pregnant with Mason at the time, so I probably looked a little ridiculous, but we had a BLAST. Matthew and I ended up picking 72 POUNDS of apples. Needless to say, I did not have the space in my stomach to eat 72 pounds of them, so I decided to come up with a way to use them all. Enter my Instant Pot applesauce recipe!
I didn’t have an Instant Pot at the time, so I got to make it on the stove and it took for. ev. er. Believe me when I say, using your Instant Pot is a MUCH better method for making applesauce. I leave mine unspiced and just spice as we pour it into a bowl. Why? Because it makes it SO much more versatile! Instead of just being able to eat this Instant Pot applesauce recipe only as applesauce, I can use it as an egg substitute if I’m cooking for a kiddo with an egg allergy, so I don’t always want cinnamon added to those recipes. It also means that if there’s a kiddo allergic to cinnamon or nutmeg, I don’t have to worry about it, AND it means that I can make it more or less spiced, depending on who is eating it (Matthew likes a lot of it, Mason likes a little bit, and I’m somewhere in between).
One question I get a lot is whether or not to peel the apples. That’s honestly a total personal preference. I like to leave them on since I’m blending it all up anyway and that’s where a lot of the nutrients in the apples hide. If you don’t like the flavor, feel free to peel ahead of time! When I peel apples for my apple pie, I use this apple corer/peeler because it saves me SO much time and wet, sticky fingers. The other question I get is whether or not to sweeten it. Again, it’s personal preference, as well as how sweet the apples you’re using are. If you’re using a green apple, you’ll likely want to add some brown sugar or honey. If you’re using a red, yellow, or pink apple, you’re less likely to. We generally use a sweeter apple to begin with so I never have to add sugar (and it keeps it closer to the natural flavor of apples).
If you’re looking for other fall deliciousness, check out my Instant Pot Texas chili for your football afternoon!
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Instant Pot Applesauce Recipe
4 lbs apples, cored and cut into similar-size pieces (peeled if desired)
3/4 c water
1 T lemon zest
Pinch of salt
Optional spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove (or the essential oil versions of those!)
- Add your apples, water, lemon zest, and salt to your Instant Pot and close the lid.
- Set your Instant Pot to manual, high pressure, for 8 minutes.
- Once it’s done cooking, allow it to natural pressure release completely (usually 15 minutes or so).
- Open up the top and use either an immersion blender in the Instant Pot or transfer the apples (CAREFULLY– they’ll be hot!) to a blender.
- Blend it up to the consistency you prefer and then store in jars. I like to actually can mine so I can stick them out in the garage for months (72 pounds makes a LOT of this Instant Pot applesauce recipe, y’all), but you can also just store them in your fridge!