Life right now may be the busiest I can ever remember it...and this is still before the baby is even here! Life is only going to get busier. So, I know that I need to be armed and ready with easy recipes in the coming months. Enter our good friend, the crock pot!
Last weekend I made a delicious sweet potato apple soup in the crock pot (this recipe here from 100 Days of Real Food). And last week I made this great crock pot applesauce recipe that I'm about to share with you. Seriously, I may never make applesauce on the stove again!
Apple season is passing quickly, so I wanted to be sure to share this with you sooner than later. If you've recently gone apple picking or have plans to go soon this fall, make this applesauce with all those delicious, fresh apples you pick! I would imagine you can freeze this too, although I didn't (we ate it too fast!). And, if you know how to can, you could probably can this as well.
The recipe is from My Baking Addiction. The original recipe called for about 12 medium apples, but I used 16. And I still used the same amount of brown sugar (1/3 cup) called for in the original recipe. I thought the sauce was plenty sweet (but not overly so). Of course, it may depend on which types of apples you use (I used a combo of Cortland, Macintosh, and Macoun). So, feel free to taste it along the way and adjust the sugar as needed! Also, the recipe calls for "apple pie spice." Honestly, I just eyeballed the spices that I added! I added a combo of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, I believe (and the overall amount was probably closer to 3 tsp., not 1 and 1/4 tsp.). I also added 4 or 5 whole cinnamon sticks (that I removed at the end!). Oh, and I added some apple cider too, just because... No need to though (the original recipe does not call for it).
-4 pounds of apples (about 16 medium)
-1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
-2 to 3 tsp. apple pie spice
-4 or 5 cinnamon sticks
-1/2 cup apple cider
Combine all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on high for 5 hours. If desired, taste the applesauce about an hour before it's done to test for sweetness. Add more sugar and/or spices if you'd like.
If you like slightly chunky applesauce (as mine turned out in the pictures), just stir and mash the apples with a spoon or potato masher. It will be very easy to make it into applesauce, I promise; the apples cook down quite nicely. If you like a smoother applesauce, let the sauce cool and then transfer it to a blender or food processor to puree until smooth. Store applesauce in airtight container in fridge (for up to 10 days) or in freezer (for up to 6 months).
This is good stuff, friends! If you love homemade applesauce and are looking for a ridiculously easy way to make it, this recipe is for you.
I think I may need to go apple picking again just so I can make another batch!
And once you've made this applesauce, you can go make my cinnamon swirl apple bread recipe since it calls for applesauce!