I almost didn’t sweat at all this past Sunday, and then it was only 75 degrees when I woke up Monday morning. I pretended I’d get to experience a little bit of fall this year before it got nice and sticky for the afternoon. Ah, well – I had my moment of make believe.
One of the (many) great things about fall is all the wonderful fresh apples. Back in South Carolina, I loved heading to the farmer’s market for some Upstate apples! The good news for me is that I’m good at pretending. Sure, there’s some fall and winter in SC, but not like in other parts of the world. I’m used to holiday decorations that aren’t super realistic for where I’m living (I’m thinking of you, snowmen!), so I decided to go ahead and pretend it’s fall by making up some savory applesauce.
Obviously, your choice of apples has a big impact on your final applesauce. Don’t pick out anything soft/mealy (like a red delicious). You can mix and match apples, adding in a few tart ones for some zing! Experiment with your favorite apples to see what you prefer. When in doubt, I advise always going with what’s freshest and grown locally.
Peeling your apples makes them easier to mash, but adding some peel pack in can give depth to the applesauce’s flavor and lend some pretty colors. For this batch, I peeled all my apples using my Rikon Swiss peeler. It works wonders!
The exact amount of time you’ll need to cook your applesauce will depend on the apples you’re using and your slow cooker. I cooked this batch on high for a little under two hours, but it could take up to five hours on lower heat or with apples that cook more slowly. Just keep checking on it and savoring the smells in your home while it cooks! Oh, and feel free to add some cinnamon, too, for extra deliciousness. A couple sticks in the slow cooker or a sprinkling before serving are both good choices.
As a final note before getting to the recipe – the cooked applesauce volume will be about half the raw volume. I had about 7 cups of apple cubes and a little over 3 cups of finished applesauce.
- 3 pounds of apples
- 1" piece of fresh ginger
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ¾ cup of water
- lemon juice (optional)
- Peel and core your apples then cut them into 1" chunks.
- Combine the apple chunks, sugar, and water in your slow cooker.
- Cut the ginger into two ½" slices and crush each slice with the flat of a large knife and toss them into the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for about an hour and then check on your applesauce. Give it a quick taste test and add more sugar, if needed.
- Check the applesauce out every half an hour or so, testing for doneness. Add a couple tablespoons of water if it looks dried out. Once the apples are soft and easy to mash, you're finished! Continue cooking for a little while with the lid off if you have extra moisture.
- For chunky applesauce, mash with a fork or potato masher. For smooth applesauce, carefully transfer the mixture to a blender or food process and mix until you're happy with the results.
- Stir in a little lemon juice if the applesauce needs extra tartness (I added about two teaspoons to mine), serve warm, and enjoy.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Not only is this applesauce a delicious choice for dessert, breakfast, or a snack, but it is also a good choice for someone with an upset stomach. Applesauce is easy to digest and ginger helps soothe queasy feelings from things like motion sickness. I get carsick/airsick and my husband gets seasick (pretty funny, since he’s a sailor!), so I try to keep something gingery around the house.
No matter where you live or what types of apples you use, I hope this slow cooker applesauce brings wonderful scents to your home and a tasty treat to your table.
What’s your favorite type of apple? I think mine is a zillion way tie between everything that isn’t a member of the ‘delicious’ family.