Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crockpot Applesauce

Skill Level: Beginner
Skills Attained: Crockpot Cooking
Supplies/Ingredients:
  • Crockpot
  • 6 - 8 apples 
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • Dash of nutmeg (optional)
  • Potato Masher (or fork, blender, or food processor)
I love the fall! It is hands-down my favorite season. I love the cooling of the weather and the changing of the leaves. I also love the fact that you can get apples by the bushel-full...literally! In seasons past, I have picked or bought a large amount of apples, which means I need to find and make delicious apple recipes. Crockpot applesauce is a good standby recipe if you are craving a sweet, warm comfort food or if you just need to use up those apples before they go bad. The quantities in the recipe yield approximately 6 side servings, but you can easily double or even triple this recipe if you want a bigger batch. 


You can use a wide variety of apples for this recipe, but I would stick to a nice sweet apple or a "baking apple" (i.e., Jonagolds, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Gala, etc.). I am using Mutsu apples. I had never tried -- or even heard of -- this apple before, but it was recommended to me by a local farmer at the farmer's market. So, I thought I'd give it a shot. It's a sweeter apple with a soft texture, so it breaks down nicely when cooked. 






Peel and core the apples. Cut them into large wedges. Place the apple wedges in the crockpot.





Add the sugar and spices. All of the seasonings are optional, depending on your personal preference. If you have a sweeter apple, you can completely omit the sugar. However, if you are using Granny Smiths or an apple that is tart, you probably want to add a little bit of sugar. The amounts I recommend for the spices are a guide: add them based upon your personal taste.


Surprisingly, you do not need to add any water to this recipe. The apples will release enough juice on their own and the mixture will not stick to the bottom of the crockpot. 


Cook the mixture in the crockpot for 3 to 4 hours on low. About halfway through, I use a potato masher (or fork) and break up the apples. It's not imparative that you do this step if you truly want to "set it and forget it". Depending on how many apples you use, your cooktime may vary. The applesauce is finished when the apples have completely softened.



There are a few methods to finishing your applesauce. You can mix it by hand using a potato masher or a fork. This is a great method if you like chunkier applesauce. If you prefer a smoother applesauce,  use a blender or food processor to blend.






Serve warm, or chill in the refrigerator for a cold applesauce. This is a delicious side dish for pork chops or a great, healthy snack for the kids.