Homemade applesauce is simple to make, makes the kitchen smell incredible, and tastes much better than anything you can buy at the store. Use apples that you enjoy eating. We particularly love using crisp, sweet apples when making applesauce and generally do not add any sweetener. If you feel the applesauce needs some extra sweetness, add a sweetener to taste at the end of cooking. We recommend brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey.
Using peeled apples makes this recipe easy, but you can use skin-on apples. If you do, use a food mill fitted with a medium disk to blend the sauce and remove most of the cooked skins for the best texture. If you do not have a food mill, you can puree the skins into the sauce. Or pass the sauce through a mesh strainer to remove the skins.
**The cook time for this applesauce is 5 minutes, but keep in mind that the pressure cooker takes additional time to reach pressure before the cooking time begins and release the pressure after the cooking time ends.
4 pounds crisp, sweet apples (8 large), rinsed, see tips
One 3-inch cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, fresh orange juice, or apple cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 2 whole star anise, optional
Brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener to taste, optional
Peel apples, remove the apple cores, and cut apples into 1-inch chunks or wedges.
Place the apples, cinnamon stick, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and star anise into the bottom of a 6-quart electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot). Add 1/3 cup of water, and then stir the apples around the pot a few times.
Close the lid, select the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” function and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Note that the timer will not start until there is enough pressure inside the pot, so the timer may not start for a few minutes.
When the cooking time is up, do not immediately open the lid and instead let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, release the remaining pressure using the quick-release button (be careful to keep your hands and face away from the venting steam).
Stir or mash the apples into your preferred consistency. An immersion blender works, as well, but the apples should be so soft that a spoon is enough to mash them into a sauce.
Taste the applesauce. If you would like to add a sweetener, add it to taste. Start with a teaspoon, and then add from there.
The applesauce will thicken a little as it cools, but if it seems too watery, place the applesauce back into the pressure cooker, turn the sauté function on, and simmer until reduced a little.
Store applesauce in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Freeze applesauce for up to 6 months, possibly longer.
We do not have instructions for canning applesauce and recommend that you consult other canning resources for tips.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste