Monday, October 7, 2013

Crock Pot Applesauce

Every year it is our family tradition to go apple picking. We have a great apple orchard that is about a 45 minute drive away from us. The destination is wonderful but the drive along the way is gorgeous. We are surrounded by the awe-inspiring Appalachian mountains and the changing colors in the fall season are nothing short of breathtaking.  We often come home with more apples than we could ever eat. We give a lot to friends and a lot get made into other things. I've made all kinds of apple things over the years but I had never attempted my own applesauce before.
And truly, I had no idea how ridiculously easy it really was. And how so darn good it would taste! I did learn a bit while making this. First of all, I had no idea that so many nutrients we get from apples are actually in the skin of the apple itself. So, if you are really looking to get the most bang for your buck with this applesauce, then leave those skins on.  The only downside with leaving the skins on is they never totally break down while cooking like the rest of the apple does. So, you have to go in there with an immersion blender if you want them totally incorporated. The skins do get very soft though and my husband did not mind eating the softer skins with the sauce.  Or, you can peel the apple before cooking, and you will see that after cooking down for a few hours, all you need is a fork to stir the apples and you immediately have applesauce! Special thank you to Country Cook reader, Anita Allgood, for sharing her family recipe.
Ingredients:
10 cooking apples (I used a mix of Granny Smith and Gala)*
1/2 cup apple juice, apple cider or water
1 cup sugar (to taste)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. lemon juice



lemon juice not pictured

*NOTE: For this recipe I used a mix of Granny Smith and Gala apples.
So, the amount of sugar you use will depend on the tartness of your apples and your tastebuds.  This is a VERY forgiving recipe and all the sugar does not have to be added at the beginning of the process.  After I made this, I gave it a taste and realized it needed a tad more sugar. So I sprinkled a bit more on the finished product, gave it a stir, gave it another taste and it was perfect. So, if you want, start with a little and add more later if it is needed. The same goes for the cinnamon. Start with a small amount if you are unsure and then sprinkle more in later to get it to a taste you enjoy!

Directions:
Chop and core your apples (leaving the skins on or off, see my explanations for this at the top part of this post). Place chopped apples in a 4-5 quart slow cooker (also known as a crock pot).  Add in apple cider, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and stir.
Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.
When it's ready it will look like this. Those apples will be so soft, so that all you will have to do is stir and you will have applesauce. Give it a taste test at this point (be careful, mixture will be hot!) and see if you need any more sugar or cinnamon to meet your tastes.
If you left the skins on and want to break them down into the sauce more, then break out your immersion blender, and gently (I use short bursts) chop up the apple skins. I did about 5 or 6 quick short pulses so that it left the applesauce intact and didn't turn it into apple soup. Just long enough to break down a few of those apple skins.
Then serve! It's wonderful warm but this can be put into the fridge and it will stay good
 for about a week. It also freezes beautifully!
Enjoy!

18 comments :

Pam McFarland said...

We just made our version yesterday and boy did the house smell wonderfully all day. My recipe is just a little different, but basically the same concept. I LOVE homemade applesauce. My son even had some with vanilla ice cream as it was still hot last night. :) Your photos are so beautiful I can almost still smell it!
Pam @ The Patriotic Pam

Amy C. said...

Do I need the lemon juice? I don't have any on hand.

Anonymous said...

Lemon juice will keep it from turning brown.

Brandie Skibinski said...

Ok, you don't ABSOLUTELY need it but I did find that adding a tad bit of lemon juice, it really brightened up the flavor of the apples themselves. The original recipe did not come with lemon juice but I added it in the second time I made this and we all agreed there was a small but noticeable difference in the flavors. I hope that helps!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

I love making homemade applesauce but I never tried in the crockpot, going to give this a shot!

Danielle said...

Could this also be canned??

Marsha Baker said...

I just made crockpot applesauce over the weekend...using agave nectar and no added sugar. I love mine chunky too - it's fabulous! Really satisfies my sweet tooth. Yours looks really yummy too!

Darlene Laurn said...

Can this be pressure cooked?Preserved.

Brandie Skibinski said...

Absolutely!

Brandie Skibinski said...

This can be canned but I've never tried to pressure cook it.

Anonymous said...

I have been making my own applesauce for many years. I only use Macintosh apples as I live in Upstate NY and it is our local and favorite apple here. I got to playing around and found that adding rhubarb to it adds a slight tang but not overwhelming flavor as long as you do Half rhubarb to twice the apples. I also add a pkg of Yoplait smoothie mix.. strawberries, mango and pineapple with the rhubarb and apples, sugar and cinnamon. OMG what a flavor combo!!! DELICIOUS. It comes out slightly chunky but so tasty!!! Make sure your rhubarb is cut into 1/2" pieces and I peel mine, If you are allergic to rhubarb, I also can substitute pears, for barb.

'Chele said...

I'm new to this, could you tell me how you can this? I'd like to can & give out for Christmas as this will remind them of Fall :-). Thanks

Anonymous said...

Want to try this! Loved applesauce when my mom made it years ago but for some reason I can't print it off my computer. Would u email it to me? Would really appreciate it. Also could u tell me how to freeze it? TY :)

nanamama@carolina.rr.com

Brandie Skibinski said...

Hi Chele! The folks at Ball canning are the best resource for learning how to can this so that it can be properly preserved. Here is a link that will give you instructions. They also have videos on their site to help with canning as well! Hope that helps! :) http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipe.aspx?r=126

Anonymous said...

If you add a few grates of nutmeg at the end the applesauce is even better.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Mexico ny we have a great orchard there. Oh how I miss the apples. I'm in ga now and went to an apple festival here just today. My first in ga. Lovely crafts but a bit short on the actual apple part lol

Susan said...

When I make homemade applesauce, I peel the apples first and simmer them separately with a little sugar and water. I then discard the peelings and use the same water to cook the apples in. Just add more water and sugar to taste. The peelings really give the sauce a great flavor.

Anonymous said...

Use some cinnamon red hots in it, gives it a lovely pink color and extra flavor