It’s always nice to know people who have apple trees in their yards who are willing to share! My grandma and my friend give me apples every summer so I make applesauce to use in my baking year-round.
This recipe is so easy to make because you don’t have to peel the apples. Simply cut around the core, fill your slow cooker, add a bit of water, and let it cook on low for 4-6 hours. Puree the sauce once the apples have softened. The peels give it a peachy-pink color and the applesauce doesn’t have any added sugar. You can of course add sugar and cinnamon to taste if you plan on eating the applesauce as-is.
How to store your applesauce
I like to freeze it in 1-cup portions in small freezer bags. One batch of applesauce will yield about 9-10 cups of applesauce, depending on the size of your apples. Let the sauce cool completely before portioning it into freezer bags. Lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet before freezing to save space. I like to portion in one cup portions because I mostly use this apple sauce in these Healthy Banana Muffins with Applesauce, or these Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins.
If you have some time on your hands, you can also can it to make it shelf-stable. The National Centre for Home Food Preservation is a great resource for safe canning practices. Follow the instructions for canning applesauce here.
How to use your applesauce
As I mentioned, I like to use mine mostly in baking. There are a few of my go-to muffin recipes on my Tried & True Pinterest Board. You can modify most muffin or cake recipes to use applesauce as a substitute for butter or margarine. For one cup of butter, use 3/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup canola oil. Using applesauce makes cakes moist and more cost-effective, as the price of butter is rising by the day. You could also use it as a topping for oatmeal or as a substitution for an egg in your favorite muffin or cake. If using as an egg substitute, use 1/4 cup applesauce for one egg.
Preventing food waste
Even if you don’t get a load of apples from a tree, you can set aside bruised apples from the store and freeze them until you’re ready to make a full batch. Again, slice around the core and place in a freezer bag. Keep adding to the bag until you have enough to make a batch of sauce. For more tips on preventing food waste for a variety of ingredients, see page 64 of your Ultimate Guide.
Simple Slow Cooker Applesauce
This three-step recipe is easy to execute and virtually hands-free.
- 1/2 cup Water optional
Cut around the core of the apples and fill your slow cooker.
Add 1/2 cup water to large slow cookers, and 1/4 cup to smaller slow cookers.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until apples break apart when you stir them.
Puree the sauce with an immersion blender.
Cool completely before portioning and freezing in bags.
Adding water creates steam and helps speed up the process but is not necessary.
If you are canning the sauce, fill hot, sterilized jars with hot applesauce and follow the guidelines from the National Center for Home Food Preservation for safe canning practices.