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Easy as pie applesauce

We took the kids apple-picking the other weekend for the very first time and they loved it.  It was the perfect fall day.  I never knew a single tree could produce so many apples, or that the rows of trees would go on for days.  Apples were everywhere.  We couldn’t grab them fast enough.  The little kids ran through the rows of trees grabbing the perfectly ripened fruit, clenching their bags like gold with their little tiny fingers.  They were in heaven (and JP and I had a pretty great time too….a win win for all, which doesn’t happen often).

However, since that beautiful fall day my kitchen has been a whole other story.  We have been swimming (more like drowning) in apples. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good crisp apple.  But there are only so many apples a girl can take, in an already cluttered kitchen, before she loses her mind.  I am not one for “clutter”, so the fact that we had apples covering almost every square inch of our kitchen was driving me mad.

I had to make a serious dent in my apple stash, and I had to do it fast.  So I went with what seemed like my easiest option – applesauce.

When the kids were younger I used to make homemade applesauce for them a lot.  I would meticulously peel all of the apples, and cook them over low heat on my stove top for hours.  But on this particular morning I had no interest in peeling anything, or standing over any type of stove.  Instead, I opted for my crockpot and threw the apples right in with their skins still on (because let’s be honest, when you have four little kids you’re not standing around peeling anything).

I had never made applesauce in a crockpot before, so I really had no plan.   But it was at least worth a shot.

I quartered about a dozen apples (with the skin still on) and added them to the crockpot with cinnamon, water, and lemon juice.  I turned the crockpot on to low heat, and then walked away to let it work it’s magic for next five hours.  When the apples were done cooking they were tender enough to mash with a wooden spoon.  However I knew my kids would complain if they saw anything “chunky”, so I opted to give it a quick blend in the Vitamix (but that’s totally optional).  It could not have been easier.  And honestly so incredibly delicious.  But the best part, my house smelled like heaven all day and it required no standing over a stove.

Of course my next problem then became…what to do with all of that applesauce!  Which luckily for you, I’ll share in the next few days (with some seriously delicious muffins….).

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Crockpot Applesauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 cups
Ingredients
  • 10-12 apples of your choice, quartered
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2-3 tbsp of brown sugar (optional depending on how "sweet" you like your applesauce)
Instructions
  1. In a crockpot, combine 10-12 apples that have been cored and cut into quarters
  2. Add cinnamon, lemon juice, and water (and optional brown sugar).
  3. Toss gently and make sure apples are coated evenly
  4. Turn crockpot to low and allow apples to cook for 4-5 hours
  5. Once apples can be easily "mashed", use a wooden spoon to "mash" for chunkier applesauce. Or add to a blender for a smoother consistency (just don't over blend or you'll end up with apple soup 😉
  6. Store in glass containers

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