Why waste your paycheck on a spiced apple candle when you can have the real deal?
The only thing that’s better than the cozy scent of cinnamon and sweet juicy apples floating through your home in the cooler months is being able to transform that fruity fragrance into something you can actually eat with a spoon.
Disclaimer: I am not inviting you to eat candles. But I am about to introduce you to the simple pleasure of homemade pressure-cooked applesauce.
If you’re already familiar with the process involved to make this sweet snack on the stovetop, then I certainly don’t have to convince you of the droolworthiness of all the yummy aromas.
However, this recipe shows you how to transform a produce bag filled with whole apples into a rustic, maple-infused applesauce in a fraction of the time that you’re used to.
After the brief period it takes for your appliance to come up to pressure, the cook time is a mere 5 minutes – doesn’t get much faster than that!
And though this tasty seasonal treat comes together at turbo speed, the perfume that wafts from your appliance’s steam valve could be enough to convince anyone who passes by that you slowly cooked those apples on the stove for an hour.
So yank whatever speedy little device you use to get food in your belly fast out of its hiding space and let’s get to peeling.
Choosing the right apple can be tricky business if you’re not well-versed in which varieties are best for cooking or eating fresh. That crisp, candy-like specimen may be a superstar for slicing and dunking into peanut butter, but its texture might turn mealy in a pie.
Don’t worry. No need to send yourself to fruit school. Give our apple guide a once-over and you’ll be good to go.
For this batch, juicy Honeycrisps as well as Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Cosmic Crisp apples were a-plenty at the grocery store.
I wanted a little tartness to balance out the sweetness of the Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith’s signature citrusy tang was just the ticket. The honey and spice elements of the Golden Delicious apples play perfectly with the added sweetener and warming spice.
A watched pot may never boil, but a pressure cooker that’s been glared at by a hungry cook will make one heck of an applesauce in 15 minutes.
Thanks to the Boiling Chamber of High-Pressure Steam – which is not, in fact, the 8th installment in the Harry Potter collection – I didn’t even have to break out the potato masher. My applesauce was rustic, chunky perfection.
If smooth and silky is your preferred texture, feel free to puree all you like with an immersion blender before serving.
Either way, ditch the pricey, kitschy fall candles this year and turn to our pressure cooker applesauce instead to breathe in a heavenly aroma of simmered fruit, maple syrup, and spices you can actually eat.Print
Our spiced pressure cooker maple applesauce is just the thing to satisfy your cinnamon craving when cooler weather comes around.
- 2 1/2 pounds apples (about 4 large), peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Add the apples, apple cider, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt, and cinnamon to a 6-quart electric pressure cooker. Stir to combine.
- Secure the lid and set the timer to cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then open the valve and carefully quick-release the remaining steam before removing the lid.
- Mash or blend the applesauce to your desired consistency.
- Serve warm or transfer the applesauce to a bowl and allow it to cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and chill for about 2 hours to serve cold. Store leftovers in the fridge for 7-10 days.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Fruit
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Snack
Keywords: applesauce, apple, cinnamon, maple, pressure cooker
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Gather, Measure, and Prep Ingredients
Rinse, peel, core, and roughly chop your apples. About four medium-sized apples weigh 2 1/2 pounds, and I ended up with approximately 6 cups of chopped fruit.
I prefer to use a combination of sweet and tart apples to make a sauce. For this recipe, I used a combination of Honeycrisp, Cosmic Crisp, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious.
Some tart or sweet-tart options include McIntosh, Jonathan, Pippin, and Granny Smith. For sweet varieties, look for Honeycrisp, Cosmic Crisp, Northern Spy, Stayman Winesap, or Golden Delicious, among others. Scout for new varieties at your local farmers market or farm stand this fall!
Measure the apple cider and maple syrup. You can use water in a pinch if you don’t have apple cider on hand, but it adds some additional fall flavor to the applesauce.
Juice half of a lemon and measure out about 1 tablespoon of the juice. Measure the salt and cinnamon.
Step 2 – Combine Ingredients in Pressure Cooker and Cook
Set up your 6-quart electric pressure cooker – I like to use my Instant Pot. Add the chopped apples, apple cider, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt, and cinnamon to the insert and stir until everything is evenly distributed.
Secure the lid of the cooker, set to high pressure, and set the timer for 5 minutes. My Instant Pot took 10 minutes to come up to pressure before it started cooking and counting down from 5 minutes.
Step 3 – Release the Steam
Allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes to complete the cooking process. The pin (or float valve) will begin to register a decrease in pressure during this time.
Open the valve carefully and quick-release the remaining steam before taking off the lid.
Step 4 – Serve Warm or Chill
Using a potato masher, or an immersion blender if you prefer a smoother finished product, mash or blend the applesauce to your desired consistency.
Serve the applesauce warm or transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge. It will take about 2 hours to chill fully.
Leftovers may be stored in the fridge for 7 to 10 days or you can freeze individually-sized portions for longer storage of up to 6 months and defrost in the fridge overnight – perfect for meal prep!
An Apple a Day
Snagging several different types of apples to make this recipe is certainly not a requirement. If you have a favorite that rocks in a sauce, go for it!
Be sure to choose a variety that’s excellent when cooked. As long as the weight requirement is satisfied, you can include as many different types as you like, or stick with just one.
If all roads lead to Honeycrisp, just expect more sweet than tart. If a zippy tang is what you’re after, no one will stop you from grabbing nothing but Granny Smiths.
This applesauce is the perfect accompaniment to latkes for the Hanukkah holiday, so consider pairing it with our sweet potato and potato pancake recipe if you prefer a sweet take with earthy warming spices. Don’t forget the sour cream.
Swirled into apple cranberry oatmeal? Dolloped over vanilla yogurt? Where will you adventure with this applesauce? Share your serving suggestions in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.
Maple syrup is a magical ingredient, and you’ll still have plenty left in your jug after this applesauce is ready to serve. Continue spreading the sweet love with these recipes:
- Maple-Spiced Nuts and Seeds
- Maple Blueberry Coconut Oil Scones with Einkorn Flour
- Maple Glazed Pork Roast with Root Vegetables
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on February 19, 2015. Last updated on September 6, 2022.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Fanny Slater
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”