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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Crockpot Applesauce

Do you have any idea how easy this is?!  We have a tart apple tree in our backyard and wait all year to pick them and gobble, gobble, gobble them up.  We don't spray our tree (no icky stuff in our tummies!) so they aren't as pretty as some might like, but they make beautiful cooked apples! So when it's a bumper crop, well.... this is our go-to recipe!

There are many crock pot applesauce versions out there, but this one is my fave and comes from www.allaboutfoodstorage.com:

4 lbs. tart apples, cored and thinly sliced (about 12 cups)
1/2 cup sugar (I used about 1/4 c.)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon or apple pie spice
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Mix apples with cinnamon and sugar and put into Crock Pot.  Pour water and lemon juice over the apple mixture.  Cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours.

In my experience, you really don't have to thinly slice your apples. To save time, just do large chunks and it turns out just the same!

If you cook it longer (8-9 hours on low) and stir it a bit,  you'll get apple butter, and if you cook it as described in the recipe above, you'll get chunky applesauce.  With a picky little boy in my house, I cook for 7 hours on low, then mash a bit (with my potato masher!) to get a creamier version. 

In the past I've also used Splenda brown sugar (in place of the granulated sugar) just to mix it up, and once when we bought very sweet apples, I used a scant half-cup of sugar for a huge batch of applesauce.  It tasted great with very little extra sweetener! 

Once I made pear sauce because I had too many pears, and it lost all the grainy pear texture and everyone thought it was dark apple sauce.  This is a truly versatile recipe and freezes/cans well.

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