We went apple picking a couple weeks ago and had an absolute blast. The apples were slightly over-priced, but when you come away from the adventure with a 3 hour outing AND 20lbs of apples, I’d call it a win. Not surprisingly, my big plans to make apple everything that week didn’t pan out – one of the kids got sick, then the other one got sick, then I had a couple extra babysitting kids, then some of our best friends in town moved away to the Netherlands… suffice it to say, something had to be done with the apples this past Saturday – they were starting to go brown & mushy. Still ‘ok’, just not great for eating fresh anymore.
We pick Golden Delicious when we go apple picking because A) they’re VERY tasty!! Not too tart but great for cooking AND eating fresh! B) their huge size makes them quick to peel – less effort!
I don’t like rotting food, so my first impulse is to chuck it in the green bin for composting – but when it comes to apples, I reign in that impulse & pull out the slow cooker. I obviously don’t use any moldy apples, but if it’s just bruising & over ripening I’m happy to throw them in the pot. There are some time-consuming ways to make absolutely phenomenal applesauce that involve hand-cranked food mills and caramelizing things, but my personal favourite is crockpot applesauce: peel & core, forget, stir. Voila, 3 step applesauce! It is literally the easiest possible way of making applesauce – although I do feel a bit dishonest saying that you’re “Making Applesauce” with this method – much like you put bread in the toaster and IT makes the toast, you put apples into the slowcooker and IT makes the applesauce!
Most applesauce that you buy in the stores has sugar added to it – but unless you’re using the tartest of the tart apples, sugar isn’t necessary. Apples are chock-full of natural sugars, so just a dash of cinnamon is all the seasoning you’ll need in this recipe.
My experience has been that the end volume of applesauce is about 50% of the starting volume of apples – when I fill my largest crock pot to the brim with apples, I come away with 8 cups of applesauce. It freezes well but doesn’t like to live in the fridge for more than a couple weeks, so after I divvy it up between 2 cup containers I toss all but one into the freezer.
- Enough apples to fill your slow cooker (not too tart)
- A dash of cinnamon
- Peel apples, core & cut into large chunks.
- Add to slow cooker.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Mash gently with a potato masher.
- Divvy between storage containers & allow to cool on the counter before storing in the fridge or freezer.
- Keeps well in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, store extras in the freezer.
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