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~Please Pass the Homemade Crockpot Applesauce~

IMG_3308When my family of five sat down to dinner, unlike a host of other foods, I never had occasion to say "eat your applesauce".  When applesauce was on the dinner table my kids would eat it. Applesauce had bargaining power too:  "Finish your pork chop, then you can have another helping of applesauce."  "Eat half of your green beans and you can have more applesauce." There's more:  My boys weren't "big" on eating apple slices, but, if there was applesauce in the refrigerator, they were happy to slather it on a Ritz with a piece of Cracker Barrel cheddar.  

IMG_3330Applesauce was a feel-good snacky-type condiment in our house.

IMG_3132For the obvious reason, I've always associated "back to school" with applesauce making:  The kids went back to school after Labor day and apples started appearing at our local fruit farm's roadside stand. Over the years I've made applesauce with all sorts of different apples and combinations of different apples, but these days, I make it with Fuji's alone -- picked straight from our backyard tree.

A bit about the Fuji apple:

Named for the Japanese town of Fujisaki, the super-crispy, super-sweet  Fuji apple was introduced in the USA by Japan in the 1980's, and, nowadays, they've become so popular that we produce more of them than they do.  Known for its hard texture and syrupy sweetness, it is perfect for eating as is, adding fresh to salads or cooked into baked desserts.  They have a long shelf life too -- several months if kept in a cool place and up to a year if stored in the refrigerator.

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d089a1a9970cThe slow-cooker was originally invented by Chicago's Irving Naxon (Naxon Utilities Corporation).  It was introduced, in August 1970, as the Naxon All-Purpose Cooker, or Bean Cooker.  As the story goes, Irving was a great inventor but lacked marketing skills and his bean machine flopped. Later that same year, the Rival company bought Naxon and reintroduced the product in 1971 under the trademarked "Crock-Pot" name.  

Shortly after I got married in 1974, the crock-pot craze occurred -- every new bride got one, including me.  That said, for twenty+ years, I continued to make applesauce on the stovetop the way my grandmother did.  It's not hard to do, but you do have to babysit it (carefully watch it as it simmers).  Four years ago this October, I invested in a new crockpot with a 6-quart capacity.  I don't think I had it a week when I noticed a crockpot applesauce recipe in the newspaper.  Using my own recipe, I threw all of my ingredients into the crock and never looked back. 

IMG_31417 pounds unpeeled, cored and coarsely-chopped apples (about 20 large-medium-large apples) (Note:  Weighing the chopped apples on a kitchen scale is the best way do do this.)

1/2  cup apple juice

1  cup lightly-packed dark brown sugar

1  tablespoon ground cinnamon

1  teaspoon ground ginger

1/2  teaspoon ground cloves

IMG_3152 IMG_3155 IMG_3159Step 1.  Rinse/wash the apples in cold water then coarsely chop them, placing them in a 6-quart crockpot as you work.  Add IMG_3163 IMG_3169 IMG_3165the apple juice, followed by the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  There is no need to stir anything yet.

IMG_3173 IMG_3182~ Step 2. Put the lid on the pot and cook on high power for 4 hours.

IMG_3199~ Step 3. After 2 hours give the mixture a good stir.

IMG_3216Go ahead, treat yourself -- taste it. Put the lid back on and cook on high for the last 2 hours.

IMG_3211~ Step 4. Remove the lid, give everything another good stir and allow it all to rest, uncovered, for 1 hour, to cool slightly, prior to processing to a chunky or smooth consistency.

IMG_3223~ Step 5.  To process my applesauce, I use a hand-held stick blender -- it keeps all of the mess in one spot (the crockpot).  If you do not have one, a food processor fitted with a steel blade or an ordinary blender will work fine too.

Note: Even if you like your applesauce chunky-style, you really do have to process it somewhat, to keep it from being a bit watery.  

When it comes to applesauce, I like mine silky smooth, so, I give mine a solid 1-2 minutes of whirring with the stick blender.

IMG_3225 IMG_3234If you followed my recipe, you will have 3 quarts of applesauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well-chilled, several hours or overnight (overnight is best).  Once chilled, I portion mine into 2-cup containers and freeze to have on hand all year round.  Thaw in the refrigerator.

Applesauce:  Subtley-spiced & silky-smooth...

IMG_3300... fall in love w/Fall's quintessential side-dish!

IMG_3313Please Pass the Homemade Crockpot Applesauce:  Recipe yields 3 quarts.

Special Equipment List:  chef's knife; cutting board; 6-quart crockpot; large spoon; plastic wrap; soup ladle; 6, 2-cup sized food storage containers w/tight-fitting lids

6a0120a8551282970b019afff10b49970cCook's Note:  My nicely-spiced applesauce is the secret ingredient in my ~ Nana's Applesauce-Oatmeal-Raisin-Walnut Cake ~. This is indeed my favorite Fall-cake recipe.  Click into Category 6 or 19 to get this heirloom recipe.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)


Thanks Trisha -- I hope you will give this EASY applesauce recipe a try. Mine is in the freezer and will be on my Thanksgiving table right next to the cranberry sauce! Love ya girlfriend!!!

Beautiful! I can almost taste it through the photos. Another great recipe, Melanie!

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