This is one of those deceptively easy recipes – that took forever to figure out. Wanting to duplicate my mother’s hour-long oven baked apple down to every detail slowed the process down about a year.
I started with putting apples in ramekins, covering with reduced wine and steaming them – too much work and not there flavor-wise. I tried stuffing them, halving them vertically, halving them horizontally, only removing the top or bottom -nope, nope, nope. I was ready to give up when my husband who won’t eat a fresh apple to save his life but adores baked apples implored me to persevere.
Out of frustration and lack of time (my kids have an extra day of activities and I started an group dance class – it’s like line dancing but to Enrique Iglesias) I just cored and tossed the apples in the cooker with wine and sugar – whatever.
I gave up trying to keep the apples perfectly intact and making look them exactly as my mother had.
Baked apples are imperfect, and that’s OK. Some will hold their shape, some won’t, but they will all be tender, creamy and delicious.
Sometimes the only thing that keeps you from completing a task – is demanding a perfect outcome before getting started.
Playing with the recipe
I’ve tried this with several apple varieties – they all work. Some (the reds) have a tougher skin than others, and you can just break that up with your spoon and scoop the apple pulp out when eating. Seriously, just use what you’ve got and what you can get. This recipe isn’t picky.
Don’t have raisins? use any dried fruit. Got pumpkin pie spice? Use that instead of cinnamon. Want to add even more zing? Sprinkle a pinch of ginger powder. Don’t have red wine? Use white.
Don’t want to add sugar? Use your favorite sweetener (but add 1/2 cup of water to compensate for the lost “liquid” created by the sugar). Don’t want to add wine? Replace the wine and sugar with sweetened apple juice.
This is one of those “foundation recipes” that can’t go wrong – except for one thing. Do NOT rush to release pressure. Do the full natural release or you’ll end-up with a runny applesauce.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|3 L or larger||none||10 min.||High(2)||Natural|
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 1 apple
- Calories: 188.7
- TOTAL Fat: 0.3mg
- TOTAL Carbs: 41.9g
- Sugar Carbs: 34.7g
- Sodium: 2.3mg
- Fiber Carbs: 3.8g
- Protein: 0.6g
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg
- 6 FRESH apples (see notes), cored
- ¼ cup (30g) raisins
- 1 cup (250ml) red wine
- ½ cup (100g) raw demerara sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- Add the apples to the base of the pressure cooker.
- Pour in wine, sprinkle raisins, sugar and cinnamon powder.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
- For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 10 minutes pressure cooking time.
- When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes). For electric pressure cookers, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and open when the pressure indicator has gone down (20 to 30 minutes).
- Scoop out of the pressure cooker and serve in a small bowl with lots of cooking liquid.
I don’t do red wine so I used apple cider when I made these. (As luck would have it I was looking at my pile of apples tonight when this recipe appeared in my inbox) They aren’t done yet but my kitchen smells amazing. Thanks for the great recipe!
Veganman, Apple cider sounds like a great addition! Come back to let us know how they turned out.
I can’t compare them to the ones made with wine but these were amazing! The cider took the apple to a different level of flavor concentration. If you have never had a raisin cooked in apple cider…it’s intense. :-)
The apple texture could not have been more tender, yet was not mushy at all (I used local cripps pink apples). I added some fresh lemon juice to the liquid before using it.
A dollop of maple sweetened coconut “whipped” cream was all it needed after that.
Thanks again Laura! I love this recipe!
I’m glad to read they were a success – the coconut whip sounds like a delicious addition. Yes, pressure does some amazing things to raisins!
I’ve served these with whipped cream AND crumbled ginger cookies, pecans or walnuts would also work well (to add that crunch contrast factor).
These look good. I have done them in the oven and microwave without the wine.Just never thought to put wine in them. I will have to try these tomorrow.
Lately I have been making pressure cooker apple crumble. Time for a change:)
Pressure cooker apple crumble sounds really nice…would you share your recipe?
Not really ‘my’ recipe
I make it in a springform pan and drizzle caramel on it like
I also put the apple slices in lightly salted water instead using lemon juice to keep them from going brown.
It is very good and also can be frozen. (I slice it first)
My mother ALWAYS made baked with wine – it adds a satisfying sweet-tart flavor to the apples. The resulting juice is DELICIOUS. Well, at least I think so. ; )
What type of red wine did you use….sweet or dry?
I used dry Sangiovese- but any will do. I’ve also tested this with a sweet Rose’ and it turned out nice as well.
I’m eager to try these. They look delicious. What I love about this recipe and all Laura’s recipes, is that they WORK. And they work because she doesn’t just slap a bunch of ingredients together, call it a recipe and post it (or steal it from somewhere else and claim it as her own as some do), she tries various combinations of ingredients and cooking times until she gets it right. She often also tries variations and suggests substitutions in case the reader doesn’t have a certain ingredient or can’t get it, or does not use a certain ingredient for some reason. Thanks for a very appealing sounding recipe, Laura.
Thank you for your confidence, Sigrid!
My family never cooked with wine. This includes my parents, their parents, and their 9 siblings etc.. I had my Champagne at around 20 and Chateaux Neuf du Pape at around 30. Just wasn’t done in the Maritimes way back when.
Now of course I have lots:).
What did your mother bake with wine. I immediately thought bread and cookies but probably not?
I second Sigrid on the quality of the recipes, and am always awed by the presentation and photography, especially those lovely white dishes. So elegant.
Whoops! I left out a couple of words from my reply – she always baked “her apples” in wine!
I love adding a dash of wine after sauteing ingredients for pasta sauces as well. Technically the wine liberates some of the alcohol-soluble flavor compounds but more practically it makes everything taste great.
Thank you, too, Helen.
P.S. It’s not easy to make brown amorphous food look great in photographs- so in those cases I rely on the dishes to provide the structure. Those little square antipasto dishes are my absolute favorites!!! I hope you don’t get tired of looking at them, because I’ll definitely be using them again. : )
Made the apples and quite delicious.
I could only fit 3 apples but put in all the wine and sugar. Sauce is very nice and no wine taste.. More sweet than sour. Used home made red wine. Cabernet type. Apples too big for my desert dishes.
I never get tired of pretty food pictures. Another thing I admire about yours is the way the proportion of dish to food. The current trend of putting a bite size morsel on a big plate or in some cases piling everything way up or too full bowls does not always work IMO. I believe presentation is second only to taste.
Apple cores are great for flavoring kefir BTW. Even better if you put in a sliced strawberry. The longer you leave it (within reason) the sweeter it gets without added sugar. I am thinking maybe a piece of cinnamon stick would not hurt.
Wow Helen, you must have had some BIG apples!
I think you’ve picked-up on the difference between plating for “entertainment” and plating for “nurturing” – as you know, I prefer the latter! It’s all part of my strategem to make pressure cooked food approachable and do-able without too much fluff.
Wow, I’ve never added anything to my Kefir, I must read-up on it. Mine is pretty sweet as it is as I always stop it THE MINUTE it starts to get dense – though we don’t have any lactose intolerance which requires the kefir to go longer to process it all.
I’m always learning something new from you!
It is called second ferment. You strain the grains and leave it sit in the fridge or a day or so with or without some fruit or peeling. Anyway enough off topic.
The apples were fairly large. I only ate 1/2 last night and polished the rest of it off today. Seemed even better cold.
Do you have to use raw demerara sugar or will ordinary white sugar work as well?
Kay, you can use white sugar as well. The “raw” sugar adds a little extra natural caramel flavor to the recipe.
While I’ve had demerara sugar at one time or another, it’s not something I usually have on hand. I suspect that’s true for many of us. However, for that caramel flavor, one could also use brown sugar or even 1/4 C. brown sugar and 1/4 C. white sugar.
Tried this recipe last night with Granny Smith apples, apples cider in lieu of wine and maple syrup instead of sugar. I couldn’t figure out how to remove the core with a knife so cut them in half which resulted in almost-applesauce. Suppose i could adjust the cooking time if i don’t get an Apple corer before next time. It was delicious with vanilla ice cream on top and will be a regular from now on-so easy!
I bought my apple corer in a dollar store. Works like a charm.
I have made these 3 times now, today with some ridiculously cheap apples which were starting to brown. Cut of the browned parts and cooked 8 minutes.
Strangely these are the best ones yet, Maybe because the apples are overripe? Lucky for me it is my new favorite desert.
BTW this is a great way to use up that brown/raw/Demerara sugar that has gotten hard as a rock in your pantry. If there are biggish lumps I just put one on top of each apple and sprinkle the rest.
Wow, I’m glad to hear that. I noticed that each apple variety has its own flavor which – in my mind- is enhanced by the wine. Did you use the same wine, too?
Just put your solid brown sugar or Demerara sugar in the microwave about 1 minute and it will be like new.
Yes same home made red wine. Made from a wine kit. Not as good as a $30 bottle of cabernet sauvignon but better than a $10 bottle. Wine is pretty expensive in Canada compared to Europe:(.
I think I will do the pears next.
Made this today! Absolutely fabulous! Definitely will make again and again. YUM!!! :)
I made these apples yesterday night and they are very good. I did not get as much juice as in yr picture but this is due to the fact that I cooked just three apples in my monster 12 LT dramatic. I guess. I also added some prunes and a touch of kirsch. very good, thanks. ciao, stefano
Stefano, the prunes and cherry brandy those all sound like fantastic additions. Just remember don’t ever replace all of wine with brandy as the cooker will pressurize with vaporized (and flammable) alcohol!
! ah, thanks for the tip/grazie per la dritta. st
Would you cook it any less time for 2 apples? I am a newbie. I read the amount of food doesn’t take any more or less time, but I cooked 2 apples for 4 minutes as per instant pot cooking recommendations and they were both very soft. I was just wondering why such a longer cooking time in your recipe.
Yes, it would be the same cook time. These apples are braised, not boiled, and also kept primarily whole. If you have any concerns you could start at 4 and if they seem under-cooked cook them for more. Just be sure to use the Natural Release each time as it will keep the apples whole – using Normal release will “scramble” them, making them fall apart.
Beautiful photos of the apples!. I am using my instant pot nearly everyday. I am going to make this tomorrow. Nicely done.
I’m new to pressure cooking and not the best cook in the world either! I wanted to thank you for these recipes, besides being delicious they have also helped me transition to a healthier plant based diet. Your website is great and your continued experimentation with the cooker has really paid off!
Thank you from Cape Town
Daniel, I’m glad to hear that you’re making progress towards a healthier lifestyle and that we’ve had a little hand in it. Congratulations, and welcome!
I am fairly new to the instant pot and my first attempt became applesauce lol. I figured i may have added too much liquid so I redid a 2nd time, measured the liquids as indicated. Same outcome, sigh!
Was 10 mins under high too much?
I’ve encountered this problem before, the issue is that you are using “climate controlled” apples. That means the apples could be months, maybe a year old but still look perfectly fresh and crunchy when fresh. Their true nature is revealed when pressure cooked – they cannot hold their shape AT ALL. Most stores don’t have to tell you whether you’re buying climate controlled apples – so you need to be aware of apple-growing regions and seasons. This climate controlled storage is how you can see apples available for sale ALL YEAR LONG even though their harvest is usually only in the fall.
When choosing apples for pressure cooking make sure they are local apples, you purchase them in the fall/early winter and the stem coming out of the apple is a bright green color and not dark brown and bark-like.
Here’s a description of the process from the farmer’s perspective..
I have found, when baking apples, that different varieties soften quicker than others. The same may be true with pressure cooking them.
I just cooked 4 Gala apples. I added water instead of wine. I followed your time, but my apples fell apart. I had to use it as apple sauce. According to instant pot booklet, it says to cook for 3 min. I’ll try cooking it less time next time.
Lisa, please read my previous comment about using “old” apples!
I made 4 baked apples in a stovetop pressure cooker- they turned to applesauce in 8 minutes! I think they could have gone for about 2 minutes at high pressure. Now I’m going to eat some applesauce with pecans! I’ll have to experiment a bit more!
There are two reasons this can happen. The first, as I mentioned above, is using apples that hae been stored in “protective” atmosphere – in otherwords old not-fresh apples. The second reason is using anything bu Natural release.
I just ran across this recipe and will have to try it. Back in the 40’s and 50’s my mother had a huge pressure cooker (at least, it seemed enormous to me as a 5 year old). She used to make baked apples in it. I will have to try and duplicate it with your recipe. She packed the hollows of the cores with raisins, brown sugar I think, and chopped walnuts, and some spices.. I don’t know what she used for the liquid, but I adored them. The apples were soft and tender and the liquid was like a dark syrup.
Linda, I went digging through the vintage pressure cooker manuals we have on this website (just type “vintage” in the search box to see them all) and I found a recipe that you mother might have used. This booklet has a recipe for “stuffed pears” which are stuffed with pecans, raisins and cinnamon lemon juice. She might have used this recipe and switched-out the pears with apples. BTW, they are only pressure cooked in water and sugar – I’m sure the magic of pressure cooking did the rest in terms of flavoring the cooking liquid OR she could have used red wine, as my mother did.
Scroll to pg. 104 of the booklet (55 of the PDF):
Have a look, and please come back to let us know what you tried!
Question. If we just don’t have access to fresh apples, but your every day grocery store “old” apples, what recipe should we follow?
The IP book suggests steaming, 2-3 min high pressure, and then quick release. Have you ever tried doing it that way? Would a quick release still maintain the apple’s shape if steamed instead of being submerged in the liquid?
Thanks. I too just created applesauce – didn’t notice the comments about “fresh” apples until AFTER my failed attempt :(
I just came across this recipe and comments again and saw a previous comment of mine. I said then that I was eager to try the recipe but still haven’t :-(. Need to remedy that soon. I’m writing now with a suggestion I probably will try.
Instead of choosing six of one apple variety, choose one of six different apple varieties. That way you can see if you prefer one variety of apple over another. Just make note of the varieties and position you place then in your pressure cooker.
Laura has me concerned about climate-controlled apples. Perhaps I should get my apples from Whole Foods rather than Dillons, our Kroger-owned supermarket. That may increase the likellhood that I don’t end up with applesauce instead of baked apples.
Expecting one result and getting another reminds me of an experience I had many, many years ago. At the time I was a school teacher and a colleague and I decided to make salt water taffy we planned to share with our colleagues. We didn’t have a candy thermometer so were kind of winging it with respect to cooking the mixture to the proper soft ball stage. When it was “ready” we poured it into a rectangular metal pan to allow it to cool a bit before “pulling” the taffy. Well it cooled alright – like a rock. My colleague asked, “how are we going to get this out of the pan?” I said, “find a hammer and a clean dish towel.” We literally hammered our “taffy” out of the pan, wrapped each small piece in waxed paper and put it in the teacher’s lounge on Monday morning before anyone arrived. Our colleagues raved about the “butterscotch” and kept asking who made it. We didn’t know :-) and simply said it was there when we got to school that morning.
I hope I’ll have better luck with the baked apples.
I added a video to this recipe – so you can see EXACTLY how the apples should look when they come out of the pressure cooker. Also, if an 8-year-old can do it. YOU can do it!
The video is embedded at the top of the page, or view it directly on YouTube here:
How long would you cook the apples if you want to make applesauce? What about release method? Thanks!