This simple crock pot recipe produces a delicious applesauce that can be frozen or canned. You can make it sweetened or unsweetened, chunky or smooth, spiced or plain - however you like your applesauce.
The cooking time is all done in a slow cooker, so you actually don't spend much time in the kitchen when you make this recipe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Canning Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours, 35 minutes
Yield: 3 pints
4 pounds/1.8 kg apples
- 1/4 cup/57 gr light brown sugar OR 3 tablespoons/45 ml honey (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1 cup water/236 ml
- 1 tablespoon/15 ml lemon juice
Wash, peel* and core the apples. Cut into slices or chunks no thicker than 3/4-inch.
*If you don't mind adding an additional step to the recipe, leaving red apples unpeeled will give the applesauce a lovely blush color. Remove the peels from the sauce after the cooking time in the crock pot by either running the sauce through a food mill, or by pressing the sauce through a colander with the back of a wooden spoon.
Put the prepped apple pieces into the slow cooker and mix them with the sugar and spices, if using.
If you are using honey rather than sugar, instead of mixing it with the apples dissolve it in the water separately.
Combine the water and lemon juice. Pour the liquid over the apples. Give all of the ingredients in the slow cooker a good stir.
Cover the slow cooker. Cook the applesauce on the low setting for 6 hours, or on the high setting for 3.
If you like chunky applesauce, simply mash it with a potato masher until it is the consistency you prefer. The apples will be very soft and already starting to fall apart from their long, slow cooking
For a smooth applesauce, run the sauce through a food mill, or puree it in a food processor or blender.
Applesauce is easy to preserve for future use. It freezes well, and it also cans beautifully.
To can applesauce, fill clean pint or half pint jars (it is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe) leaving 1/2-inch of head space between the top of the food and the rims of the jars. Use a butter knife or a small spoon to release any air bubbles.
Wipe off the rims of the jars with a moistened paper or clean cloth towel (any food stuck to the rims could prevent a good seal). Fasten canning lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Adjust for your altitude if necessary.