Seasonal Recipe: Homemade Applesauce

11 Oct

Homemade applesauce is way easier than it has any right to be.

NOTE: Emily here, invading the Red Kitchen on a dare. When your little sister throws down a gauntlet, you’re pretty much obligated to pick it up … so after Grace suggested, in two separate posts (here and here), that making applesauce from scratch was more difficult/time-consuming/labor-intensive/equipment-intensive/whatever than it was worth, I took that as a challenge and decided to fire up the Crock-Pot now rather than wait for the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple-dog dare.

As I’d suspected, homemade applesauce is way simpler than it has any right to be.

I started with about a dozen apples of varying shapes, sizes, and varieties: a couple of little ones that were starting to lose their crispness, a leftover Granny Smith I’d bought from a roadside vendor last week, and some Galas I’d found on sale for 79 cents a pound at the grocery store. Use whatever you have on hand; just adjust your sugar and water to get the flavor and consistency where you want it.

Core and slice the apples, peel them, and toss them into your slow cooker.

A slicer/corer makes quick work of a dozen apples.

♥ Chef’s note: If you don’t own an all-in-one apple corer and slicer, do yourself a favor and buy one. They cost less than $4 at most discount stores, and they will save you a ton of time, especially when you’re making pies or other treats that necessitate slicing up a lot of apples all at once.

Sprinkle the apples with spices and add about a cup of water.

Add a generous sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice, a generous sprinkling of cinnamon, and about a cup of water. (If your apples are particularly juicy, you can cut back the water as needed.) Put the lid on the slow cooker, turn it on high, and let it simmer until the whole house smells like apple pie.

When the apples are soft, they're ready to mash up.

After a couple of hours, check the progress of your applesauce. By this point, the apples should be soft and will have reduced in volume by about half. After confirming that they are, indeed, nice and soft, take a potato masher and squish the apple-cinnamon mixture to a thick pulp. Sweeten to taste (I used a couple of tablespoons of honey, but you can use sugar or Splenda if you prefer) and shut off the Crock-Pot.

Store in the refrigerator for a few days or can in a boiling-water bath (20 minutes should do the job) for longer-term storage.


4 Responses to “Seasonal Recipe: Homemade Applesauce”

  1. lesliewienswineryadventures October 12, 2010 at 8:33 PM #

    Super simple! Thanks, Em!
    Cheers! Leslie

  2. Carmen October 14, 2010 at 12:34 PM #

    I remember as a child picking apples in the orchard on a warm fall day. My grandmother and I would peel baskets of them, then she would make applesauce. Oh, the subtle sweet aroma that filled the kitchen! A lot of work, but it was all worth it in order to enjoy the fresh, delicious taste throughout the winter.

  3. Rheannon October 17, 2010 at 6:47 AM #

    I used to make applesauce with the kindergarteners. I just grated up the apples, peel and all, and put them in the crockpot with spices, sugar, and water. It was so easy and they thought I was the best teacher ever.

  4. Gracie October 25, 2010 at 12:32 PM #

    Rhee, you *are* the best teacher ever. 🙂 And thanks, Emily, for dispelling the myth that applesauce is tough to make! I guess I’ll have to finally cough up the money for a potato-masher to keep in the kitchen. 🙂

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