You know the saying “easy as pie”? Come on now…pie isn’t what I’d call “easy” and I bet I’m not alone in that opinion. This applesauce recipe is MUCH easier than pie, and it’s got a pie-like taste! Grab that slow cooker and let’s get started…
I pick apples with my family every fall—this year we picked 3 big bags (ok, every year we pick 3 big bags). And every fall, after the apples have been around for a couple weeks and the apples are softening a bit, the urge to make applesauce kicks in. Hard. It’s perfect timing really because super crisp, just-picked apples are good for eating right away, and certainly are not necessary for sauce—they all cook down, anyhow.
You know what else you don’t need? Sugar—even if you’re going to can the applesauce. Getting a flavorful sauce is achieved by using a mix of apple types (you can see by the slices in the picture below that I used multiple varieties). Add whatever spices you like—cinnamon, ginger or a little pumpkin pie spice (one of my favorite tricks)—or none at all if you prefer your applesauce straight up. Tossing in a few fresh cranberries makes a pretty sauce, too. Then sit back and let the slow cooker do its magic.
- 3-3.5 pounds apples, peeled and diced or sliced
- 1/2 cup apple cider, apple juice or water
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
- Place apples into the slow cooker crock.
- Add the cider and lemon juice, toss apples to coat with the liquid. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and toss again.
- Cover and cook on HIGH 4-5 hours (depends on how chunky you like your sauce and how big you cut the apples), stirring sauce several times during cooking.
- Let the applesauce cool before serving.