|The family and I apple picking! Sabrina is enthralled with her apple.|
It is no secret to anyone that knows me that I love love love Fall! I am no Domestic Goddess, but since having a family, I have tried to broaden my horizons and try new things. When I moved to New York State years ago, apple picking became something that I did every Fall. We may not have glitz or glamour here, but we have lots of apple orchards to choose from!
My husband loves applesauce and eats it with dinner most every night. So last year, after coming home with way too many apples from our picking adventure, I decided to try something that my sister-in-law recommended, making homemade applesauce in the crock pot. As a wonderful bonus this year, my little love Sabrina has taken a liking to my applesauce as well.
I will list my prep instructions here, but be warned that this isn't an exact science. As with many recipes, you can make many small tweaks based on your family's likes and dislikes and still end up with a great end result.
First, I peeled, cored, and cubed about a dozen apples, enough to fill my crock pot. I personally like to use different kinds of apples, as I think the different flavors compliment each other. This batch I used Honey Crisp and Cortland apples, mostly because that's what I had left from apple picking last weekend. Cube your apples to be generally the same size if you don't like your applesauce too chunky. It will cook more evenly if the apples are the same size.
Next, I added about a cup of brown sugar and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. What I should have done was put half the apples in, then half the spices, and repeat, but live and learn. This is where you can get creative. I wanted to keep my applesauce simple since my 10 month old will be eating it and I don't want her to eat a lot of sugar. But you can add granulated sugar, ginger, apple pie spice, maybe some cloves (caution on using too much cloves, boy is that taste overpowering!).
Next, I added about a cup of water and stirred until well mixed.
Lastly, I turned the crock pot on low, put the lid on, and went about my other weekend chores. I checked back in after about 5 hours to see how my applesauce was progressing. I didn't do a great job at cubing my apples to the same size, so I was left with some larger pieces that I let cook closer to 6 hours. Also, you can use an immersion blender to do away with any leftover chunks.
And voila, with minimal effort, you have homemade applesauce to enjoy! Everything I've read on the web seems to say that you can freeze it, but that you should only enjoy it (once thawed) for a week and then toss it, likely due to the lack of preservatives in it.
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