I have apple trees. I received the gift of 3 apple trees for my 30th birthday. I love looking at them out our kitchen window, dreaming of the day when they’ll be producing apples. I know I have at least another 1 to 4 years to wait for apples, but I’ll dream as I wait.
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Since I do live up North, Fall is the perfect time to stock up on apples for a reasonable price. Our grocery store had apples on sale for $0.69/lb this past week. My mother-in-law purchased me a bushel of apples from a nearby orchard for $23. That works out to $0.61/lb that we paid. With all these apples, I wanted to try my hand at making homemade applesauce. So, I did and let me tell you what I learned.
It’s easy to make applesauce. So easy, in fact, that I can’t believe I waited this long to make applesauce! Okay, I realize that I’m only 31 and hopefully have many more years of making applesauce ahead of me! Still, I am very excited by this discovery, especially since applesauce can be frozen in the freezer, if you don’t want to spend time canning it.
I started by using the recipe from Jessica Fisher’s Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook. It was short, simple and made great applesauce. Basically, it involves apples, a bit of water and a slow cooker. Here’s the step by step directions.
Start by filling your crock pot with apples that are peeled and sliced. I have a Pampered Chef apple corer / peeler / slicer that I put to good use for this task! I have a large crock pot and filled it to the top with around 8 pounds of apples, just so you know.
Put all the apples in your slow cooker. You can use any combination of apples. For my first batch, I used Gala apples and they were delicious! For my next batch (that I’m making today), I’m using Cortland apples.
Put the peeled apples in your crock pot and add 1/4 cup water. Set your crock pot to High for 4 hours. Now, go read a book or do some laundry and let your slow cooker do its magic. After 4 hours, your apples should look like this.
If you like chunky applesauce, then you are ready to enjoy fresh applesauce. If you prefer smoother applesauce (like my husband), then run the cooked apples though your blender. It won’t take long at all because the apples are already so soft. I filled my blender full and in a matter of seconds on puree, I had smooth as baby food applesauce!
If you would like to add sugar, now is the time you may. My applesauce was plenty sweet enough without the addition of sugar.
At this point, your applesauce will still be warm from the crock pot. I recommend letting it cool before you put freeze it. My crock pot full of apples made about 8 cups of applesauce. I kept a couple cups out to enjoy. The rest, I divided between mason jars and ziploc bags for the freezer. If you are freezing applesauce in jars, make sure to leave a bit of space at the top of the jar.
That’s it. See how simple that is? If apples are on sale by you, I’d highly recommend making some applesauce for yourself. It couldn’t be simpler or more delicious! In fact, I’ll be making a couple more batches for my freezer yet this Fall while I can get a great price on apples.
5 pounds apples, peeled and diced
1/4 cup water
Sugar, to taste
Peel and dice your apples. Put them in your crock pot. Add 1/4 cup water. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Serve your chunky applesauce, or puree apples in blender for smooth applesauce. Enjoy the treat of homemade applesauce!