Yep, we're making applesauce.
I go for the bags of drops they keep tucked away in cooled bins in the back of the store. Why?
- They're cheap
- I'm only going to destroy them anyway, they don't need to look pretty
- Did I mention that they're cheap?
Needless to say, we ended up with about 30 or 40 pounds of apples. Yes. That is about the same weight as a small child. What can I say? We like our applesauce in this house. I usually make enough to last all year, then bury those bags of chunky liquid gold in the bottom of the chest freezer. We usually heat it up and eat it straight out of a coffee mug. But I also use my homemade applesauce in baking recipes - it is unsweetened after all!
I actually just defrosted the final jar from last year's stash. It had been in hiding.
This recipe is so stupid-easy, you're going to kick yourself for ever buying applesauce in a jar from the grocery store. Here's a question for you... How on earth do they get jarred applesauce to be so light in color? A magical mystical feat of processing I will never understand. My applesauce is brown. My husband's grandmother - hers is red, because she leaves the skins on. I just can't get over the color, so I peel my apples. C'est la vie!
When my sister and I were kids we would make applesauce with my Aunt Carole. She had one of those old apple peelers that you clamped to the kitchen counter with a vise. We would help her peel and chop, then she would simmer those apples into oblivion on the stove-top. Afterwards, she would run it all through a food mill to get it nice and smooth. And then... Then she would make something she called "Butter Cream" to put on top. It was sweetened butter that, when placed on top of warm applesauce, would melt into creamy, sugary, blissful deliciousness.
I'm drooling just thinking about this right now.
My aunt's version took all day, and it was worth every ounce of love and energy we put into it. Mine also takes a few hours - but I let my slow cooker do the work. Who doesn't love that? I've also modified the butter cream recipe, just a tweak.
And I promise, your house will smell divine!
Homemade Slow Cooker ApplesaucePrep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Yields: About 3 1/2 quarts
- 7 lbs Sweet Cooking Apples (I like McIntosh for sauce - if you'd like to know more about which apples serve what purpose, here's a great guide: All About Apples)
- 2/3 cup Water
- 1/2 tsp Apple Pie Spice
- Peel, core and chop apples. Try slicing off the top and bottom of your apples prior to peeling - it makes peeling go much faster! If you use an apple corer, just make sure to get any leftover bits of core with a paring knife before tossing those puppies into your slow cooker.
- Places all apple pieces and water into the bowl of a 6-quart slow cooker and set to "High".
- Check after one hour. If mixture has begun to bubble or foam up around the edges, give it a good stir and lower the heat setting to "Low". If it hasn't started to bubble yet, check every 30 minutes until it has, then follow above directions.
- Stir in apple pie spice.
- Continue to cook on "Low" for three hours or until apples have broken down and reduced to about 1/2 of original volume; stirring occasionally.
Nutrition per 1/2 cup Serving: 54 Calories; 0g Fat; 0g Saturated Fat; 14g Carbohydrate; 1g Fiber; 0g Protein
- This applesauce will be chunky! If you'd prefer a smoother sauce, feel free to run the entire mixture through a food mill after it has finished cooking and has cooled enough to handle without burning yourself.
- If you'd prefer not to peel your apples, that is entirely your decision - it should still cook down just fine, but it might need to be processed further after cooking (i.e. food mill, food processor, or blender).
Sugar & Spice Compound Butter
Yields: 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup Light Butter
- 1/4 tsp Apple Pie Spice
- 4 tsp Brown Sugar, packed
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl; beat with a mixer until creamed together and smooth.
- Melt atop warm applesauce and enjoy thoroughly.
Nutrition per 1/2 Tbsp Serving: 29 Calories; 3g Fat; 2g Saturated Fat; 1g Carbohydrate; 0g Fiber; 0g Protein
Trust me - try this recipe...and thank me later!
Happy gluten-free cooking!