We had an abundant harvest of apples this year. Our young orchard (planted 7 years ago) produced the best apples we have ever had in addition to our more mature tree. Every year I can as much applesauce as I can depending on the harvest. I think it is safe to say that this year’s harvest exceeds every year since we have been here. Our family loves applesauce and can easily finish a quart off in one meal. I have learned some tricks to make this an easier process over the years and this year decided to engage my instant pot (and my mother-in-laws’) to speed up the process even more!
Our first batch was quite a mess as I worked to figure out the best way to use the Instant Pot. I literally had applesauce spraying out the vent when I released the pressure! OOPS! Don’t do it that way!
You should know I like my applesauce super simple. It truly is pureed cooked apples. So this post is more about technique than a recipe. I love to use a combination of varieties of apples for the best flavor. Our trees are mostly McIntosh which are wonderful for applesauce. I usually add in some golden varieties and some Jonagolds.
There are two different approaches I like to use. You can do it either on the stove or in the Instant Pot.
We chop the apples into 1-2″ chunks removing any bad spots as we go. Cut enough to fill up a big pot and add 1 cup of water. Simmer on the stove, stirring occasionally until the apples are soft. This takes about two hours.
Instant Pot Version:
Add 1/2 cup of water to the instant pot and fill the pot with cut apples to just below the max line. Close the lid and vent and set to steam for 2 minutes. After it finishes cooking let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes. (My 8 quart pot took about 40 minutes to come to pressure, cook and release using this method.) Besides the quicker cooking, I love that I don’t have to worry about the apples scorching in the instant pot!
Once the apples are soft we feed them through my food mill that separates the peels and seeds from the applesauce. The boys love helping with this job!
If you do not have a food mill before cooking the apples peel and core them. Then after they are doing cooking use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.
Then scoop the applesauce into one quart jars, put canning lids and rings on them and process them in the canner filled with boiling water for 20 minutes to preserve them for the coming year.
Please let me know if you have any questions! I would be glad to help!