You don't have to decide between apples and pumpkins this fall! Enjoy them together with this Pumpkin Pie Applesauce made in the Instant Pot! It's the easiest and quickest applesauce ever, but if you don't have a pressure cooker, it can also be made in a slow cooker or on the stovetop.
Life is filled with tough choices... You know the ones. Dog or cat? Bacon or home fries? Pancakes or eggs? Cake or pie? Beer or wine? And the incredibly critical decision you're faced with every fall: apple or pumpkin??
Luckily, most of us aren't forced into choosing just one option and sticking to it. It's perfectly acceptable to own both a dog and a cat (though they may not get along!). You can get your meal with home fries and also ask for a side of bacon (guilty as charged). Most restaurants serve breakfast options that appeal to both savory and sweet lovers (yes, I will always order the "hungry man," "lumberjack," or whatever other masculine name restaurants give breakfasts that have both pancakes and eggs).
Things like cake pie and cherpumple exist (God is good). And you can proudly enjoy a glass or wine followed by a cold beer (just remember "liquor before beer, you're in the clear").
And apple versus pumpkin? Stop the debate right now! Fall is such a short season that you need to be enjoying both seasonal delights as often as you possibly can. And together if at all possible.
You can do so by making this pumpkin applesauce immediately!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
There are some foods that just aren't worth making at home. Applesauce is not one them. Store-bought applesauce can never compare to homemade; not to mention, it's usually packed with added sugars.
I've made applesauce in my slow cooker before as well as on the stovetop, and I can now tell you that nothing compares to Instant Pot applesauce! But even better than that is pumpkin pie applesauce made in the Instant Pot.
Not only is this so easy to make, but it has all the best flavors of fall- fragrant pumpkin pie and fresh and juicy apples. It tastes great and will make your whole house smell incredible.
You don't need too many ingredients to make this pumpkin applesauce. Here's everything required (but be sure to view the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe directions);
- Apples: you can use the apples of your choice. I used Pink Lady and Granny Smith, but use whatever you like
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Pumpkin puree
🍎 How to make pumpkin pie applesauce in the Instant Pot
Instant Pot applesauce is incredibly quick to make and doesn't require any transferring to a blender or food processor. Which means one less step and one less dish to wash.
Adding the pumpkin pie element into the applesauce simple requires some pumpkin puree and a little pumpkin pie spice. The toughest part of this recipe is peeling and slicing the apples (though you're welcome to leave the peels on if you want).
Then everything goes right into the pot, aside from the pumpkin puree.
The apples are brought to pressure for 6 minutes and then sit for 2 minutes before the pressure is manually released the rest of the way and the pumpkin puree is stirred in.
You can mash the applesauce a little if necessary until you get it to the consistency of your preference. But the pressure cooker should make the apples mushy enough that I didn't have any large chunks in mine.
Does it get any easier than that?? I do love the way my house smells when I make applesauce in my slow cooker, but don't worry pressure cooker applesauce will still make your house smell amazing.
And it's ready to enjoy so much faster.
There are so many different varieties of applesauce you can make in the Instant Pot, but there's nothing quite like a pumpkin pie applesauce just as the weather is starting to get cool (I've had to wear a sweatshirt when walking my dog this week!!).
Not only will it help get you into the fall spirit, but the pumpkin adds a nice little nutrition boost. Yes, pumpkin is not only low in calories, but it's super good for you! It's packed with beta-carotene, fiber, and even a little bit of protein.
The only added sugar in this applesauce comes from honey and you can certainly omit that if your apples are sweet enough and you want to keep sugars even lower.
🎉 Variations on recipe
If you ask me, this applesauce is pretty perfect as is with all the flavors of pumpkin pie, but there are also some things you can do to bring in more flavors and make it your own. Here are some ideas:
- Add fresh ginger
- Add citrus, like lemon juice or zest
- Mix in rum or brandy to give it an extra fun kick
- Add sugar or a substitute for extra sweetness
- Add nuts or dried fruit
- Use pears instead of apples
- Use mashed sweet potato instead of pumpkin
You might also like my lime ginger pear sauce!
This pumpkin pie applesauce is quite amazing when served warm, but is also delicious when served cold. I ate it for a snack and on some nights, for dessert, for an entire week and it totally hit the spot.
Now that fall is basically here, that means it's also apple picking season!! I'll be honest that I haven't actually gone apple picking in years, but I do love going to the orchard or farmstand and picking up a huge bag of apples.
And then slightly panicking when I realize there's no way I can eat all of them within in the week and need some easy apple recipes STAT. This pumpkin pie applesauce in the Instant Pot totally qualifies.
⏲️ How to store
When pumpkin applesauce is mostly cooled, it can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge and will keep fresh for about a week.
You can store it in glass or Tupperware containers, but I like to use large mason jars, like how you'd buy applesauce in the store.
You can also feel free to freeze this applesauce. I recommend freezing it in individual serving sizes (large ice cube molds, silicone molds, etc.). Once frozen, you can store all of them in a large Ziplock bag or airtight container.
Thaw overnight in the fridge or warm on the stovetop before enjoying.
🎃 More pumpkin recipes
I'm all about pumpkin in the fall and here are a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes:
🍏 More apple recipes
But if you're on team apple over team pumpkin, you might prefer these delicious apple recipes!
For more Instant Pot ideas try this Instant Pot apple cider.
This is only the first of many apple and many pumpkin recipes I'll be making this fall and though I'll miss 85 degree weather with all my heart (it's my favorite), I'm fully embracing the chill in the air and all of the good (and delicious) things that come with it.
Do you make homemade applesauce?
Pumpkin Applesauce in the Instant Pot
- 3 lbs. (about 7) apples of your choice (I used Pink Lady and Granny Smith), peeled and sliced
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp honey
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- In the bowl of an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, combine apples, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt, honey, and water.
- Set Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 6 minutes. When time is up, let sit for 2 minutes and then manually release pressure.
- Open Instant Pot and stir in pumpkin puree. If you want your applesauce to have a smoother consistency, you can mash it a bit with a potato masher.
- You can serve the applesauce hot, but it can also be enjoyed cold. Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.
- To make this pumpkin pie applesauce in a slow cooker, add all ingredients aside from pumpkin puree into slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, stirring a few times throughout the cooking process. After 4 hours, turn heat off and stir in pumpkin puree. .If you want a smoother applesauce, gently mash with a potato masher or move to blender and puree.
- To make this applesauce on the stovetop, add all the ingredients aside from the pumpkin puree into a large pot and place over medium heat. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pot from heat and stir in pumpkin puree. If you want a smoother applesauce, gently mash with a potato masher or move to blender and puree.
- When stored in an airtight container, applesauce will stay good in fridge for about a week.