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If you have never tasted homemade applesauce before, then you are in for a treat! It is very simple to make, and another bonus is that your whole house will smell simply wonderful while it cooks!
One of my favorite parts of the Fall season are all the smells; cinnamon, pumpkin spice, wood-burning fireplaces, soups simmering on the stove, crisp cool air in the mornings, the list goes on and on.
Before I knew any better, I used to fill my house with artificial smells and fragrances using plugins and candles. However, after learning about all the harmful chemicals that are used in anything labeled “fragrance,” I began throwing away everything I had that included the word fragrance in the list of ingredients and began opting for more natural ways to freshen the air and add lovely smells in our home.
One of my favorite ways I have found to accomplish this is by cooking up a batch of apple cider or applesauce. Not only will we then have a delicious snack to enjoy, but a lovely smelling home the rest of the day!
We recently moved into a new home earlier this year, and I was delighted to find that there were 2 apple trees on the property. Upon moving in, it was the end of apple season and there were only a few apples left on the tree for us to try. To our delight, the apples were perfectly sweet and I began looking forward to the next apple season. Thoughts of various apple recipes quickly came to mind as I planned to utilize this tree to the fullest!
Fast forward to present day, and apple season is finally here! It was so fun for the boys to be able to watch the progression of the apples begin as a flowering bud and then mature into ripe apples. They further enjoyed taking part in picking our first harvest of apples.
Once we had our first crop, I had a big decision to make. What would we do with all the apples? They boys helped me make this decision, and we set to work in the kitchen. Applesauce was on the agenda.
This recipe can be made in a pot on the stove, in a crock pot, or for the quickest and easiest way, the instant pot. This is by far my favorite appliance I own, and I use it on a daily basis. Many of the recipes I share use this wonderful gadget, so if you don’t yet own one, I highly recommend adding it to your wish list!
The first step in applesauce making is to carefully wash your apples. Now, I prefer to leave the peels on my apples for some extra fiber, but feel free to peel them if you are looking for a smoother sauce. A great time saver to accomplish this task is to use a apple peeler and corer such as this one here, but the good old-fashioned way with a knife works just as well. It will simply take you longer.
After you have all the apples cut, place them in your pot or appliance of choice. Add in a 1/2 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, and 2 Tablespoons of pasture butter or ghee. If using the instant pot, you will want to set it to Manual for 3 minutes and then let it naturally release for 10 minutes once the 3 minutes are done. For a crock pot, you can cook it on low for 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. In a pot on the stove, you will want to bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer for a couple of hours until the apples are completely done.
Once the apples are done cooking, depending on the consistency you desire, you can leave it as is, or use an immersion blender to make it as smooth as you like. This can be served warm or chilled, it is delicious either way!
I will warn you that once you taste this, you may never go back to buying store-bought applesauce again!
- 12-15 organic apples, peeled if preferred and quartered or sliced (you can mix and match the different types of apples or use the same kind; I used a mix of granny smith and gala)
- 2 Tablespoons pasture butter or ghee
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- Wash and prep apples. Leave the peel on for a chunkier sauce, or peel for a smoother consistency. Quarter or slice and toss into the Instant Pot Stainless Steel bowl.
- Add the butter, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and water in the bowl with the apples.
- Put the Instant Pot lid on and turn to the locked position.
- Plug in the Instant Pot and make sure the vent on the top lid is in the sealed/closed position.
- Press the MANUAL button. Make sure it is set to “high” pressure, and then set to 3 minutes.
- A beeping sound will indicate when the 3 minutes are up. At this point, push the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button and let it naturally release for about 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the venting valve to “venting” with an oven mitt and make sure all the pressure has been released.
- Carefully remove the lid and smell the lovely aroma that will be released!
- For a chunkier applesauce, leave it as is. For a smoother texture, use an immersion blender to blend until you reach your desired consistency. You may also ladle the applesauce into a blender and blend/pulse until smooth.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Use whatever type of apple you prefer and feel free to mix various types to get different flavors.
- To cook in a crock pot, place all ingredients into the pot and set to high for 3-4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- To cook in a stock pot on the stove, add all ingredients and increase the amount of water to 3/4 cup, bring to a boil over med-high heat, cover and simmer 3-4 hours until the apples are soft and mushy. Continue on to step 7 – 9.
This is a great recipe to make with your little ones, it is never too early to start getting them used to being in the kitchen! If you enjoy this recipe, I would love for you to share!