Making crockpot applesauce is so easy that you really don’t even need a recipe. Simply pile the peeled and cored apples into the crockpot with a few flavorings, and let it slow cook to a delicious homemade applesauce.
Slow cooking the apples in a crockpot caramelizes their natural sugars in the fruit. If you start with sweet-flavored apples, you won’t need to add any sweetener.
I was happy to find freshly fallen apples after heavy wind and rain rolled through the area the previous evening. We had picked all the apples that we could reach, but there were still a lot on the upper branches. Thanks to the windstorm, these were now scattered beneath the trees. I gleefully gathered all I could to make a batch of applesauce.
Our apple trees are not treated, and as you can see the apples are not perfect. However, once peeled and the bad areas trimmed out they are ideal for making applesauce.
My time was limited, so I thought I’d let the crockpot to cook the apples for me while I worked on other things. I am glad I gave slow cooker applesauce a shot because after tasting the results I will never make applesauce on the stove again.
How to Make Applesauce in a Slow Cooker
Making applesauce in a crockpot is so easy that you really don’t even need a recipe. Simply pile the peeled and cored apples into the crock with a few flavorings, and let it slow cook to a delicious homemade applesauce.
Choosing Apples for Applesauce
Choose sweet tasting cooking apples for a naturally sweetened applesauce that won’t need any sugar. Sweet apples include Fuji, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp. Moderately sweet apples include Braeburn, Jonagold, and McIntosh. You want to use softer apples that will cook down and mash well to create a flavorful sauce.
Also consider adding a tart apple, such as Cortland, Granny Smith, and Jonathan to the applesauce. Each apple variety has a distinct flavor and texture, so using a mix of apple varieties for a well-rounded flavored applesauce. If all you have are tart apples, you can add a bit of sweetener to balance the flavor.
You can find a printable recipe at the bottom of this article, but here are the illustrated steps to making homemade applesauce in a crockpot:
Step 1: Prepare Your Apples
Wash your apples under clean running water. Peel, core, and cut the apples into pieces. Trim out bad areas, insect damage, and bruises.
Place the apples into the slow cooker crock filling to the very top. Add a little water, add the cover, and set to cook on high.
Step 2: Add Flavorings
After the delicious aroma of apples fills the house for a few hours, lift the lid and give the apples a stir. As your spoon hits the apples, they should dissolve into a thick and chunky mash.
If you use sweet flavored apples, you shouldn’t need added sugar. Slow cooking caramelizes the sugars in the fruit, sweetening the applesauce naturally. Taste the applesauce after cooking and add a bit of sugar, brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten if desired. Start with a small amount and add more to taste.
Sprinkle the cinnamon on top, stir again, cover, and continue slow cooking on low to let the flavors mingle for several more hours.
Step 3: Mash the Applesauce
Your applesauce is finished once the apples dissolve into a thick and chunky mash when stirred with a spoon. It will smell wonderful. At this point, all you really need to do is mash the applesauce to your desired consistency with a spoon or potato masher. Keep it chunky if you like, or purée the applesauce in a food processor, immersion blender, or food mill for a smoother sauce.
Makes about 4 cups. Refrigerate the applesauce and enjoy within a week, freeze for up to 3 months, or can for longer storage.
If you want to can applesauce, double the recipe to 6 pounds of apples, and follow the canning directions here: Homemade Applesauce for Canning. Makes 2 quarts or 4 pints.
Homemade Crockpot Applesauce
- 3 pounds of Apples peeled, cored and sliced
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or to taste
- sugar, brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten if desired
- Add apples and water to the crockpot, cover, and cook on high until apples are fragrant and soft, about 1 hour.
- Taste the apples and add sweetener, if desired.
- Add cinnamon and stir to combine. Cover and turn crockpot to low and continue to cook for several hours.
- Roughly mash with a potato masher and keep it chunky, or purée the applesauce in a food processor, immersion blender, or food mill for a smoother sauce.
- Makes about 4 cups. Refrigerate the applesauce and enjoy within a week, freeze for up to 3 months, or water bath can for longer storage.
You May Also Like
- Spiced Apple Jelly Recipe (No Added Pectin)
- Homemade Applesauce for Canning
- Crabapple Jelly Recipe
- How to Dehydrate Apples for Food Storage
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