In a Jewish Passover seder meal, haroset (an applesauce-like mixture with wine, nuts, apples, etc.) represents the mortar used by the Jews in Egypt. Recipes for haroset are available, of course, but my family prefers to go the straight-up homemade applesauce route. Any apples will work. Golden Delicious apples are traditional. But I like to use a mix of sweet Honeycrisp and tart Granny Smith. It doesn’t even need added sugar. But you can add a bit, depending on the sweetness of your apples and your tooth.

  • Instant Pot or Crockpot
  • 4 Large Apples (~ 2 lbs peeled, cored, and sliced)
  • 1/2 cup Water (omit if using a crock pot)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice (~ 1/4 lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ cup Sugar or brown sugar (or to taste, optional)
  1. Peel and core the apples. I use a “johnny apple peeler” to do all three steps at once (peel, core, and slice).

For the Instant Pot:

  1. Add the water, lemon juice, and cinnamon (and sugar if using) to the instant pot and stir to combine. Add the apples and toss to mix. Secure the lid and cook on manual (high pressure) for 8 minutes. Turn off the “keep warm” option. Do a controlled quick release or allow the pressure to naturally release.

For the Crock Pot:

  1. Add the lemon juice and cinnamon (and sugar if using, omit the water) to the crock pot and stir to combine. Add the apples and toss to mix. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

  2. The mixture can sit in the crock pot or instant pot until it’s time to serve, then mash it a few times with a potato masher before putting it in a serving dish. (For a smoother texture, use an immersion or regular blender.)