March 2, 2010 by Flora Dawn
We have a new produce store near our house, so I have been stopping in every couple of days to pick up produce. They have been having an apple sale, so I bought a 10 pound bag with the intention of making apple pie filling. Well, my weekend came and went and still I have a 10 pound bag of apples on my counter and even more eating apples in the fridge. Today is filled with extracurricular activities, not leaving nearly enough time to get apple pie filling made; but slow cooker applesauce, that I can do.
My mom has always made her own applesauce, I am sure it stems from the fact she lives in the country and has apple tress, along with all her friends and neighbors, so she has an abundant supply of free apples. I guess I have always been around homemade applesauce, so it doesn’t seem like too big of a chore, however there are a few different ways to make applesauce and I have found the easiest way is to make it in your slow cooker. You simply add the ingredients and forget about it; and the best part, your house will be filled with the amazing aroma of spiced apples. Simply delicious.
You could use any apple you want here, I know the “experts” say that Jonagold, Pink Lady, Macoun, Gala, and Fuji are the best due to their balanced flavor and water content; but I just use what I have and adjust the water and sugar as needed. So if you choose to use a really tart apple, know that you might have to add a little extra sugar; for a sweet apple, use less sugar. Today I used a combination of Honeycrips and Granny Smiths. If you prefer your applesauce unsweetened, just leave out the sugar and spices; my version tastes very similar to an apple pie filling. I think applesauce is pretty forgiving, so if you have never made it, give it a try. It is a great rainy day activity with the kids. I am sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy and good it is, especially when served warm.
One word of caution though, if you are tempted to start these at night and go to bed, just know that the smell will be quite strong, and quite possibly will prevent you from sleeping. Trust me, I know from experience. My husband has asked me to never again cook food in the slow cooker while we sleep, it just smells too good.
Slow Cooker Applesauce
- about 3 pounds apples, cored, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (white sugar would also work), optional
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin or apple pie spice, optional
- Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low 6-8 hours.
- When apples are very soft, smash with potato masher, fork, immersion blender, etc to get desired consistency. If very smooth consistency is desired, a blender or food processor would work well.
- Applesauce can be served warm or cold. Leftovers need refrigerated or frozen.