Instant Pot Applesauce

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Have a bunch of apples this fall and want to know how to make homemade applesauce?  It's so easy to make amazing applesauce in your instant pot!  Instant pot applesauce is astoundingly easy to make, and can be canned or frozen to preserve a bountiful apple harvest.

Instant pot applesauce in a clear jar, surrounded by fresh apples on a white wooden table.

I remember my mother making homemade applesauce, but I've never tried it myself.  Perhaps because for most of my adult life I lived in the Phoenix area, where apples aren't really local produce.

Pile of green apples on a white marble background.

Now I've moved to the UK, just a bit north of London, and it's a great apple-growing region.  I was generously gifted a huge bag of organic apples from neighbors' backyard trees, and have been having a ball making all sorts of delicious apple treats.  But as prolific a baker as I've been, I still found myself with more apples than I quite knew how to handle.

The obvious answer?  Applesauce!

How to Make Homemade Applesauce

Chunks of apples in a pressure cooker inner pot ready to make instant pot applesauce.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Applesauce:

  • apples, washed, cored, and chopped into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup water (you could also use apple juice or cider--you just need enough liquid for the pot to come to pressure)

Cutting Apples for Instant Pot Applesauce

There's no need to peel apples before cooking them to make applesauce.  And the best technique for quickly, efficiently, and safely cutting apples is this method favored by pastry chefs.

Apples cooked in an Instant Pot to make homemade applesauce.

The method for making applesauce using an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker is astoundingly easy.  Just put the chunks of washed apples and water in the pot and cook it on high pressure, manual, for 10 minutes.

The apples cook up into a soft mush.  You could probably pretty easily pick out the peels and mash by hand if you like a chunkier applesauce, but my daughters like smoother applesauce, so I used a food mill.

Cooked apples in a food mill to make homemade applesauce.

I've never owned a food mill before, but I'm really impressed with this classic piece of kitchen technology, and am bummed it took me this long to get one!  I've heard that it's the key to making perfectly smooth and creamy hummus (something I've completely failed to do with past attempts in a food processor), so I'm really excited to give that a try again.  

To make the applesauce, just put the cooked apples, peels and all, in the food mill and turn the handle. 

Silver bowl of homemade applesauce on a white wooden surface, with four green apples on the table by the bowl.

You'll end up with a bowl of the most applesaucy-applesauce  you could ever want.

The Best Apples for Applesauce:

Some apples stay more firm when cooked, and some are softer and more mushy when cooked.  I typically like to use a mixture of softer and firmer apples when I'm baking something like an apple pie, but honestly, for applesauce, it's pretty much anything goes!  Choose what you like based on taste.   If you're mashing the applesauce by hand and prefer a chunkier applesauce, it can be helpful to know what kind of apples cook up in different ways.

Some of the softer cooking apples include:

  • McIntosh
  • Gala
  • Jonathan

Firmer Cooking Apples include:

  • Granny Smith
  • Jonagold
  • Honeycrisp
  • Pink Lady

Instant pot applesauce in a clear jar, surrounded by fresh apples on a white wooden table.

I actually have no idea what kind of apples I was given!  They're crisp and tart and delicious, and they make amazing, bright and tasty applesauce.  If you like a sweeter applesauce, you can add in some sweeter apples, or some sugar.  Cinnamon is another very popular addition to homemade applesauce.

Canning Homemade Applesauce

Homemade applesauce can be saved for later by canning.  I always go straight to the canning experts at Ball.  Here are their instructions for canning homemade applesauce.

Freezing Instant Pot Applesauce

Homemade applesauce can be frozen, too.  Just transfer the applesauce to a freezer bag (I like using sturdy, reusable freezer bags), remove as much air as possible, and freeze.

Instant pot applesauce in a clear jar, surrounded by fresh apples on a white wooden table.

The best part of having so much homemade applesauce?  I can use it later in other delicious recipes!

Other Amazing Apple Recipes:

Navigational link leading reader to apple muffins recipe

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for apple, caramel, oatmeal cookies

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for apple cider caramels

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for applesauce spice muffins.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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