Pressure Makes it Better Applesauce

or steaming your way to homemade applesauce is a breeze...

I have three great loves in my kitchen that may not make the list in yours - my slow cooker, my pressure cooker, and my home canners (both hot water and pressure versions).  I have found on many occasions that to my surprise even the first two of these are not common tools in many of my friends' kitchens. I can understand the canners not making the cut, not everyone is as into home canning and preserving as me, and most did not grow up with the process as I did.  But the first two tools have long been essential to food prep in my life, even before I considered the process to be actual "cooking."  Now, I find that lately the slow cooker, or crockpot, is getting some new found love as a rising trend and I certainly do my best to encourage it here on my blog when I can, but the pressure cooker is still being largely neglected in the every day culinary world of home kitchens.  I, for one, would like to stand on my soap box for a minute or two shouting its praises.. (this would be far more impressive in person so I'll just let you imagine me up there passionately rambling on for another few minutes about its glories)   

Ok, now where were we?  Right, applesauce.  (don't look at me like that, I was going to get around to it eventually...)  Applesauce is surprisingly easy to make, though doing it with the stove top method it can take somewhat of a  time commitment.  The results are delicious, trust me on this, but we don't always have that much time to dedicate to it when we have apples ripening on the counter top.  So I suggest pulling out that trustworthy old pressure cooker and whipping it up in 30 min or less round trip.  A big time saver here, aside from the obvious cook time, is that you do not need to peel the apples - the pressure cooking process breaks them down enough to blend them into the mix.  This gives the resulting applesauce a lovely rosy hue.  If you do not like that particular color for your sauce you are welcome to peel the apples in advance, but I find it to be a nice change.

12 lg to med apples 
¾ cup water
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon

Hardware: pressure cooker

1. Core the apples and cut into large slices

2. Add the apples to pressure cooker with the water.  Cover securely and bring to pressure according to manufacturer guidelines.  

3. Leave the apples to cook for 5 min then turn off heat and allow to cool down naturally

4. Use a stick (i.e. immersion) blender to puree the apples, they will mash easily with a potato masher but the blender dissolves the peels better.

5. Stir in sugar, vanilla, and spices until dissolved.  Adjust to taste.

If you are interested in delving into the world of pressure cookers even further, I highly recommend checking out Hip Pressure Cooking's website.  They have a good amount of resources and recipes to help you out along the way.

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