Homemade applesauce made easy in your slow cooker!
Homemade applesauce is currently my favorite thing about this fall. I’ve made it before, though perhaps it was with a different recipe, because this time around the process is blowing me away. It couldn’t be more simple, and the results are incredible.
It starts with a bunch of apples I picked up from the farmer’s market. I sliced them up, put them in my slow cooker on low, and then forgot about them! That’s one the best things about slow cookers, they do all the work and hours later you get to reap the benefits.
About 8 hours later I pureed the tender apples, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, in a food processor and passed it through a mesh strainer to remove the skins and seeds. (A food mill works great too, I just don’t have one.)
I’ve since made another batch without any spices and both are equally amazing. No sugar, no other ingredients. Just fresh, local, in-season apples!
Slow Cooker Spiced Applesauce
- 6 pounds (2.7 kg) apples, sliced into quarters
- 3/4 cup (178 ml) water or apple juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Place the quartered apples and water/apple juice in a large slow cooker (16 quart or more). Cover and cook on "low" for 6-8 hours, stirring every hour or so. As the apples cook down they will shrink.
- During the last few hours of cooking, stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. When the apples are fully cooked, pass the mixture through a food mill to remove skins and seeds. Alternately, you can puree it in a food processor and pass it through a mesh strainer.
- Ladle the applesauce into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cover with lids and screw on bands. Process in a waterbath for 15 minutes (pints) or 20 minutes (quarts).
- Let cool completely and make sure the jars are sealed before storing in a cool dark place, like a pantry.
- If you'd rather a plain applesauce, feel free to omit the spices.
- If you don't want to process the applesauce, simply store it in the fridge and consume within a few weeks.
- If you have a small slow cooker, you can still make this recipe! Simply halve or quarter this recipe, as desired.