Instant Pot Baked Apples are sweet and soft and luscious with a crunch from walnuts and a slight tang from cranberries. It’s like eating an Apple Pie without any guilt. And they are ready in under 30 minutes! Delicious, healthy, vegan and gluten-free dessert!
This blog post is sponsored by Ontario Apple Growers. All the delicious opinions are my own.
This post contains amazon affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I will make a small commission.
There are five apple growing districts in Ontario. Last year I was fortunate enough to visit an apple growing farm and an apple processing facility in the Central district and this year I was lucky to visit another apple farm in the Eastern district.
Visiting apple orchards was an amazing experience. The nature is magnificent and it’s absolutely mesmerizing seeing the branches pulled down by the delicious and beautiful heavy red fruit.
The rules that the apple farms follow are very strict. For example, you can’t touch your body (face, hair) while picking apples. You rub your eye – go back and wash your hands. You pull a hair away from your face – go back and wash your hands.
Even a blade of grass cannot touch an apple. And if it does, then the apple cannot be picked.
Buying local Apples
Learning all these intricacies about apple orchards and Ontario Apple Growers made me even more committed to buying local apples.
So much incredible care goes into growing apples, so I urge you to buy local apples! Support your local apple growers! Buy local!
For my Ontario readers, remember to look for the Foodland logo to make sure that you are buying Ontario grown apples.
I love cooking and baking with local apples. I have a variety of sweet and even savoury dishes that feature apples.
More Apple Recipes:
- Apple Meringue Tart
- Apple Pie Energy Balls
- Braised Duck Breasts with Apples and Onions
- Pork Loin with Sauerkraut and Apples
- Banana-Apple Fritters
- Apple Pie Rolls
- And many more apple recipes
Don’t forget to buy my new cookbook, The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook, where I feature a few more apple recipes, including a Russian Style Apple-Blueberry Jam that is made entirely in the oven.
Growing up, baked apples were one of my most favourite desserts that my grandma made for me. She added cinnamon, a touch of sugar, walnuts, and sometimes raisins in the centre of each apple and baked them until soft and fragrant.
Most often she made Baked Apples with the fruit from her our garden and we enjoyed the leftover summer bounty all throughout the fall and winter.
Baked Apples were really popular in Soviet Union, most likely because the dessert was not only easy but also cheap to make: no need for expensive butter and sugar.
I was surprised that Baked Apples weren’t that popular in Canada. In fact, I had many conversations with people who could not grasp the concept of a whole baked apple served as a dessert.
Now, with the popularity of food blogs and Pinterest, I can see that the concept of Baked Apples isn’t restricted to just Russia. But it is still not a very common dish.
Yet, it should be!!!
What are Instant Pot Baked Apples
Now, let’s talk about Instant Pot Baked Apples. Are apples really baked in Instant Pot?
No! Instant Pot Baked Apples are made with the pressure cooking function, which means that water is added into the pot, then the water boils and produces steam, which in turn pressurizes the pot, and then the apples are cooked really fast under a lot of steamy pressure.
If you are interested to learn more about Instant Pot then ready my articles about 7 Things You Need to Know About Instant Pot.
So, in reality Instant Pot Baked Apples aren’t baked, they are steamed.
Why make Baked Apples in Instant Pot?
So, if apples aren’t baked but steamed, then why make Instant Pot Baked Apples? The answer is easy – time!
Making Baked Apples in the oven takes time. Depending on how soft you like the apples, it could take between 45 minutes to one hour or even more to bake them. And also, don’t forget the time it takes to preheat the oven! Mine takes at least 25 minutes to preheat.
Making Instant Pot Baked Apples is much faster and even with the time it takes for Instant Pot to come to pressure and to release the pressure, the time will be under 30 minutes start to finish.
How do Instant Pot Baked Apples taste?
Imagine eating an Apple Pie without guilt? Well, this is what Instant Pot Baked Apples taste like! They are sweet and soft and luscious with a crunch from walnuts and a slight tang from cranberries. Totally delicious and addicting. And healthy!
I love making apples in my Instant Pot. They are fast, they are easy, they are healthy!
However, they taste different from oven-baked apples as there’s no deep caramelization of flavours. The texture of the apple is also a bit different.
In my mind, both Instant Pot Baked Apples and Oven Baked Apples are great and different desserts!
Fun fact: I actually love (I mean loooove) Instant Pot Baked Apples cold from the fridge. Weird, eh? I eat them whole, holding in my hand, like I would eat a fresh apple.
What apples to use to make Instant Pot Baked Apples?
I have tested Instant Pot Baked Apples recipe with two different kinds of local Apples: Gala apples and Cortland apples.
Traditionally, Cortland apples are best for baking and Gala apples are best for eating fresh. However, in all my tests (there were six), it turned out that local Gala Apples were more suitable for cooking in an electric pressure cooker.
How long to cook apples in Instant Pot?
Here are some findings from my six tests of cooking different apples at different times.
Cortland apples had their skin split fully and turned into a foamy apple sauce after 5 minutes of pressure cooking. The next test of 3 minutes resulted in fully split skin again, outside of the apple turned into an apple sauce and the inside was firm.
Gala apples had their skins fully split open and turned into a delicious thick apple sauce after 5 minutes. They were beautifully cooked inside with some skins split open in 3 minutes. And this is the method I will be describing in this recipe.
Here’s a very handy guide on how to use different varieties of apples.
Two different method for making Instant Pot Baked Apples
The timings I described above were for cooking apples on a trivet right in your electric pressure cooker. However, there’s another method to making Instant Pot Baked Apples.
Another option is to use Pot in Pot method, it’s often abbreviated as PiP on Instant Pot facebook groups, where apples are added into a separate pot (I used a small metal cake pan) and then the pot is placed into the Instant Pot. This method produced Gala Apples that retained their skins but it took 15 minutes to cook the apples fully.
I only tested PiP method once as I prefer the shorter cooking time and I am fine with the skins splitting open.
How to flavour Baked Apples?
I used: walnuts, a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, cranberries, and coconut oil for these baked apples. I liked the slightly bitter taste of walnuts in combination with the sweetness of local Gala apples. You could use pecans instead.
Cranberries added a fun tang and beautiful visual contrast to the apples. Coconut oil melted inside to create a lush sweet syrup.
If you aren’t vegan, you could use regular butter. I tried with butter and coconut oil and I could not taste any difference..
Flavour and filling variations for Baked Apples
Great thing about making Baked Apples is that you can flavour and stuff them any way you want:
- pecans and raisins
- dates and almonds
- dried cranberries and hazelnuts
- use gingerbread spices for a holiday variation
- use pumpkin pie spices for fall variation
How long does it actually take to make Instant Pot Baked Apples from start to finish
My Instant Pot takes about 7 minutes to come to pressure with 1 cup of water. Some other models are faster from what I understand.
There’s 3 minutes of cooking time. Then it takes about 1-2 minutes to release the pressure.
And, of course, prepping, coring, and stuffing the apples takes some time. I’d estimate about 10 minutes although I am being quite conservative here and most likely it’ll be about 8 minutes.
So, all in all, it takes 10+7+3+2=22 minutes from start to finish to make Instant Pot Baked Apples.
More Instant Pot Dessert Recipes:
DO YOU WANT MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES?
Join my Real Ingredients Instant Pot Recipes Facebook Group!!! It’s a fun and safe place to share your own Instant Pot recipes made with Real Ingredients.
Instant Pot Baked Apples
- 4 small Gala Apples (115 g or 1/4 pound each)
- 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 frozen cranberries
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or butter if you don't need to make it vegan)
- Core the apples. Cut out the centre of the apples without cutting through all the way to the bottom. Scrape a little bit of the apple flesh to make room for the filling.
- Mix the chopped walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Evenly divide the walnut-sugar mixture between each apple.
- Add two frozen cranberries to each apple.
- Top the filling with 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil each.
- Place the apples on a trivet that came with your Instant Pot.
- Add a cup of water to the Instant Pot insert, place the trivet with the apples inside, close and lock the lid.
- Turn the vent on the lid to the sealing position.
- Press Manual or Pressure Cooker button (depending on your model) and using the arrow buttons set the cook time to 3 minutes. Depending on your Instant Pot model, it'll take around 5-7 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot beeps that the 3 minutes of cooking are done, do a quick pressure release. This will take about 1 minute.
- Very carefully, as they will be really hot, remove the apples from Instant Pot and enjoy!
- This timing works with the Gala Apples that are about 115g each. If you have much bigger Gala Apples then the timing might need to be adjusted.
- Note, the skins will split but the Gala Apples will still stay whole. You might want to try cooking for 1-2 minutes if you don't want the skins to split. But I haven't tried it.
- You don't really need to measure the filling, just add enough to fill each apple.