Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pressure Cooker Applesauce

Those Ginger Gold apples were crying out to be made into applesauce. 
I never seem to put up enough to last us through the winter so getting an early start this year is good.  There are many more varieties of apples still to ripen.  I don't like to heat up the stove-top in the summer and applesauce is notorious for scorching if it is not stirred often, so I usually make my applesauce in my slow cooker but I wanted to try my pressure cooker this time.  Pressure cookers cook things at a much faster rate than the stove top.  They also seal in the juices well.
It quickly made great applesauce (under 20 minutes). 
I made 5 batches. Many of the recipes I saw called for brown sugar. I don't like it as well as white sugar in applesauce. I think the sauce tastes more like apple butter. When I make Apple Butter, I definitely like the robust flavor of brown sugar, but I'm making applesauce so all of my batches today were made with granulated sugar. 

I left my peels on and used my food mill.
 Food mills are great for mashing fruit and veggies and leaving the fiber in the bowl of the mill.  I like it much better than my immersion blender.  And not having to peel the apples made the prep much quicker.  I also think the peels add color (if your apple skins are pink or red).  There is also a bit of flesh lost with the peel.  Only cook your apples with the peels on if you have organic or pesticide free apples without added wax on the skins.

My favorite batch, in the bowl on the far right, had apples, white sugar, water, a salt pinch, lemon juice; no cinnamon.  It had a pure unadulterated bright apple taste, like eating a fresh apple.  Brooke liked the second batch, cooked with sugar, cinnamon and apple juice instead of water.  The other ingredients were the same.  This batch came the closest to purchased applesauce. It's in the bowl on the left.
My least favorite batch was made with water instead of juice.  It's in the middle bowl.  It didn't have the depth of Brooke's favorite or the brightness of mine.  If you add cinnamon, use apple juice as your liquid.
  • If you like bright apple flavor, make your sauce with water and leave out the cinnamon. 
  • If you like a more robust, spicey warm flavor, add juice instead of water and add some cinnamon.
I water bath canned most of this sauce.  I'll open a jar for a taste of summer when the weather turns cold.

Pressure Cooker Applesauce

3 lbs. of tart apples, washed, cored and quartered
2 Tablespoons-¼ cup of granulated sugar (depending on the tartness of your apples)
¼ cup of water or apple juice
Pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (optional)

If your apples are without pesticide or wax, you do not need to peel them. Otherwise, peel, core and quarter the apples. Put them in the pressure cooker with half of the sugar, a pinch of salt, and water or apple juice.  If using cinnamon, add it to the pressure cooker.
Seal the cooker and cook for 4 minutes according to the instructions that come with your pressure cooker.
Put the apples through a food mill. Discard peels.
Taste for sweetness. Add more sugar as needed for sweetness. Add the lemon juice.  Stir to blend.

Refrigerate or process in a water bath canner for extended storage.

Makes about 3 1/2 cups of applesauce.

*This same recipe can be made in a slow cooker.  Just add all of the ingredients except the lemon juice.  Cover and cook on high for 8-12 hours.  Uncover and cook on low for another hour to thicken the sauce if needed.  Add the lemon juice and adjust for sweetness.

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  1. You're so smart, Bonnie! Yummy! I am so eager to see some new apple varieties at my grocery store. They are not here yet.
    I need some new kitchen gadgets like a pressure cooker, a food mill, and a food processor. Greedy, I know!
    You take the most beautiful photos!

  2. I have never made homemade applesauce and this sounds really good. My pressure cooker disappeared years ago, so I will try this in the slow cooker.

  3. I always process my applesauce in a pressure canner, but never made my sauce that way. I prefer the "plain" applesauce like you made with nothing added but a little sugar. You can always turn plain applesauce into spiced or apple butter.

    Looks yummy. I'm anxious to process some apples.

  4. I always peal my apples for chunky sauce and try to use 3 or 4 varieties of apples. If you use sweet and tart apples together who needs sugar. Last fall I made 10 bushel of apple sauce to keep my wife and I going and my 5 grandchildern...they say my apple sauce is the best. For the holidays I add cranberries to the apple sauce. The nice thing about plain sauce is you can make it into any flavor.

  5. I love applesauce but I never thought to use my pressure cooker. Duh!
    You used the above Cuisinart? I have the same one but I thought you couldn't do applesauce or jams... or something.

  6. How fun that you tried different version to find the one you like the best. Love that you bottled it to use all winter long.

  7. Tom, I bet your applesauce is delicous.

    Brandie, I made the applesauce in the pressure cooker but I didn't bottle it using the pressure cooker. The best and safest way to bottle the sauce is in a water bath canner using the times suggested for your altitude. I did the use Cuisinart that I photographed.

  8. I think I need to get myself a pressure cooker, and I know I need to go apple picking! :)

  9. I agree with Sue. I need a pressure cooker too. This sounds like the way to go with applesauce.

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