Homemade applesauce sounds so scary, doesn't it? In fact, I was terrified to make it the first time. (I was almost as afraid to make it as I was to make enchiladas, but not quite). But it’s actually super easy. And it's an awesome way to use up apples or take advantage of a mega sale (like I did when bags were 10 for $10 at Meijer).
I love it because it feels a little different than eating just plain old fruit and I use it in lots of baked goods in place of the oil.
Here's what you need:
1 bag of apples - I recommend red delicious or jonagold, but you can experiment with different kinds.
2 TB cinnamon
1 TB nutmeg
1 -2 pinches of orange peel - the spice kind, not actual orange peel. (optional)
1/2 - 1 cup of water
Here's what you do:
1. Cut up apples. I use an apple slicer because that makes it super easy. I assume you could also just use an apple corer because it doesn't really matter how you slice the apples or if you do at all. You just want to get rid of the core. The apple slices will also cook faster than a whole apple.
2. Put the apples, spices, and water in the CrockPot. You just want enough water to wet the apples and have a little at the bottom so the apples don't burn.
3. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the apples are mushy.
4. Remove apples and put in a blender or food processor. Then just blend them until it's smooth. I usually use a slotted spoon to transfer the apples. Adding some of the water is OK, but if you add to much it will be soupy.
Then I just put it in mason jars and set them in the fridge or the freezer if we're not using it right away.
A couple of notes:
- If you blend the apples while they're hot, the applesauce will have a soupy consistency. It's totally fine and will set up once it cools. I freaked out the first time I made it and ended up adding in chunks of apples which were good, but so not necessary.
- You don't have to use a whole bag of apples. You can use as many or as little as you like. I've used two bags of apples at once because that's what fills up my Crockpot. And I've used as little as 3-4 apples. Two bags filled up 4 to 5 16 oz. mason jars.
- You can add maple syrup or honey if you want to make it a bit sweeter. I find it's not necessary because apples are so sweet and delicious on their own.
- I usually omit the spices if I'm going to use it in baking.
*Additional note that I forgot to mention: this will also make your house smell AMAZING. Like fresh baked apple pie and cinnamon and fall and love. It's wonderful.