This easy homemade applesauce is even tastier with the addition of super-sweet pears, and it’s totally fool-proof with the use of the ever-popular Instant Pot. It’s a perfect snack to make with your kids this fall.
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It’s fall! I’m not quite sure when we made the transition from summer to fall because I was lost in the haze of postpartum recovery and sleep-deprivation. I feel like I walked into the hospital in the heat of summer, and emerged from my house a month later in a totally different season.
Thankfully, we’ve made it through the first month with a newborn, and I’m starting to feel human again. Yay! I’m still sleep deprived, but my body isn’t constantly hurting in various and sundry ways, and I’m slowly finding a new groove of living life with three kids.
So…here we are in the midst of fall! As much as I don’t love winter, I really do love fall. Especially this year, after roasting all summer long with my big ol’ pregnant belly, I’ve been grateful for crisp mornings and harvest season.
Plus, now that I’m feeling more able to handle life, my oven has started calling to me, along with all the pumpkin and apple recipes exploding from the internet. A couple of weeks ago, we made our favorite pumpkin chocolate chip bread, and last week we experimented with a pumpkin spice bundt cake. Yum!
But, move over pumpkin…it’s time for apples to have a turn in the spotlight.
I’m starting small with my cooking endeavors (our family is still mostly living off of the freezer meals I stock-piled before baby was born), but I got inspired last week to make homemade applesauce.
I’ve made it previously in the slow cooker, but as a part of my commitment to learning how to use my Instant Pot (I have a thing about proving to my husband that these purchases he questions aren’t a complete waste of money), Little Brother and I whipped up a batch in the pressure cooker while his older brother was away at school. Good news…it worked beautifully!
Have you made applesauce from scratch before? It’s so ridiculously easy!
Side note: If you want a super quick way to peel your apples, this apple peeler is one of my favorite kitchen tools. My kids think it’s the coolest invention ever, and it really does cut down on the tedium of peeling and slicing a bowl full of apples.
My kids love applesauce, and there is nothing that can quite compare to the silky sweetness of a homemade batch. In this one, I used pears as well as apples because I love the depth of flavor the pears add. I also added a squeeze of lime to brighten up the flavor a bit. Alternatively, you could use lemon. Not strictly necessary, but I’m of the opinion that most things are made better with a squeeze of lime.
I also love that I can control exactly what goes into my own applesauce…no added sugar! I always thought it was silly that so much of the applesauce you can buy in the store has extra sugar added in. I mean, really…apples are already sweet, people! We don’t need to dump in extra sugar. I try to buy unsweetened applesauce when I can find it (it’s one of the ways I try to cut down on our sugar consumption), but this homemade applesauce is head-and-shoulders above the store-bought variety taste-wise. Seriously, you need to make this recipe. It’s too easy and delicious to ignore.
Ready to try it out?
- 3 pounds apples and/or pears (*see note)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 lime, juiced
- Core, peel, and slice your fruit (you can actually leave the peels on if you want some extra fiber…I usually do with pears especially because the skin is soft).
- Place fruit in Instant Pot, and then add all the other ingredients. Order doesn’t matter.
- Set your Instant Pot for 5 minutes on the manual setting. Walk away and play Kaboom! with your kids (or do whatever you want). Remember, the 5 minutes won’t start until your pot gets up to pressure, so the whole cooking process will likely take 20+ minutes.
- One the timer goes off, allow your Instant Pot to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the rest of the way if you are getting impatient.
- Blend and enjoy! Note: I love to use my immersion blender for this step because I can do it right in the pot. No extra dishes–hooray!
You can use any combination of apples and pears to get to the recommended 3 lbs. I usually do 4 or 5 of each (8-10 total). My favorite combination is to use half Honeycrisp apples and half Barlett pears. So delicious!
Also, if you don't have an Instant Pot, you can also make this in a slow cooker or on the stove top. Basically, you just want to cook the fruit until it’s super soft and then blend it up. Not rocket science.
What are your favorite fall recipes?
Here are some more of MY favorites:
- Loaded Baked Potato Soup (30-minute meal)
- White Chicken Chili (Instant Pot or Stove Top)
- Healthy banana chocolate chip muffins