Monday, March 11, 2013

Slow Cooker Unsweetened Applesauce

Recently, we decided to do an apple tasting experiment--kind of like wine tasting, but without all of the posturing and references to "tones" and "oakyness" and whatnot--since we tend to get the same kinds of apples and don't usually think about how an apple tastes in comparison with other ones (besides if it's tart or not). Braeburn apples were on sale, so I got some and we tried them.

While they tasted pretty good, we didn't like how soft they were. We prefer a crisp apple. Since they were soft, I thought they'd probably work well for applesauce, so I got some more and made some in our slow cooker.

By the way, did you know that "slow cooker" is the generic term and that "Crock-Pot" is a brand name (like "tissue" versus "Kleenex" or "adhesive bandage" versus "Band-Aid")?

slow cooker applesauce

Slow Cooker Unsweetened Applesauce
Yields about 1.5-2 quarts

9-10 large apples (I used Braeburn, but other sweet, not really crisp ones would work, too)
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice (sorry, I didn't measure--just eyed it until I thought it was about right)
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick (or use ground cinnamon)
Optional: Other ground spices, such as nutmeg, ginger, and/or cloves
  1. Peel, core, and cut apples into chunks. Place apple chunks in a large slow cooker.
  2. Pour lemon juice and water in. If using, add ground spices and stir to coat apples.
  3. Place cinnamon stick in center of apple chunks.
  4. Cook on High for 3 hours.
  5. Discard cinnamon stick (if using) and mash (with potato masher or similar) or transfer to food processor/blender until desired consistency.
  6. Cool and store in refrigerator or freeze.
slow cooker applesauce

This came out really well, and it was easy. I just used a potato masher and it was the right consistency (pretty much like store-bought). It made enough to fill one quart jar and one pint jar. There was just enough left after that to fill a small bowl, so I ate it warm. It's good warm and cold, and it's sweet enough without any added sugar or maple syrup, which some recipes call for.

crock pot applesauce

I'm thinking applesauce will have to get added to this year's canning queue.

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