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Use a vegetable peeler to remove 2 thick strips of lemon peel, being careful to avoid the bitter pith. Tie up lemon peel, cinnamon stick, ginger, star anise, and cloves in cheesecloth for easy retrieval after cooking.
Place apples in a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®). Add cheesecloth bundle, water, and salt. Close and lock the lid. Select high pressure according to manufacturer's instructions; set timer for 5 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.
Release pressure using the natural-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, 15 to 20 minutes. Avoid releasing pressure manually as hot applesauce may splutter up through the vent. Remove the cheesecloth bundle with a slotted spoon and discard.
Mix brown sugar into the applesauce until dissolved. Taste and adjust the level of sweetness if needed.