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.
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 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. lemon juice
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!
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!