Homemade Crockpot Applesauce
It’s happening again. The days are getting shorter and cooler. Everything smells like apples and pumpkin spice. I heard someplace that the season you were born is tends to be your favorite season of the year. My birthday falls smack in the middle of fall and although I do like this time of year, it’s almost my favorite season. It’s hard to beat summer! Lazy, unscheduled days by the pool are but a distant memory replaced by schedules and routines. One thing I do love about fall, however, is warming up the house with the sweet, cinnamon-y goodness of Home-made Crockpot Apple Sauce.
Our kind neighbors, Candace and Chuck, live in a charming yellow country style home next door to us. I believe it was one of the first homes built here on our long and winding court. Their backyard has a garden loaded with fruit trees including 3 varieties of apple trees!
Last week Candace dropped off almost a peck of fresh picked Pippin apples from their trees. Pippin apples have an interesting history – they are one of the first variety of apples in the U.S. The flavor is sweet, tangy and very aromatic. Pippins are considered a ‘specialty apple’; a rare variety not easy to find, especially on our west coast. Although they are juicy and tasty, I like to use them in applesauce as they brown quickly once cut. Homemade Crockpot Applesauce is just thing for these special apples.
On my last Birthday last year Bob surprised me with a brand new, fancy digital slow cooker – it has a timer and a mixing hand. It pleases him to gift me with practical things he knows I will use and I have to say this crockpot has been awesome.
The mason jars with the fancy labels are pretty darn cute. There are a bunch of free printable jar labels out there. To print out your own cute mason jar labels go to Lime Shot Design. All you do is print the sheets, cut out the label shapes, and attach with glue (I used a glue stick).
Have you read through the ingredients of store bought apple sauce? It’s so hard to find any without added sugar or fruit juice! I have found only one or two brands of ‘no sugar added’ apple sauce and honestly they are pretty bland.
I originally posted this recipe last winter around the holidays. If you were an Ovenhugger back then you may remember it? At that time I was doing most of my food photography outdoors. The photos in this post where the applesauce jars are bathing in our outdoor fountain are from last winter. The photos with the pretty turquoise blue backdrop were taken in the new indoor photo shoot set up and are recent. The applesauce recipe itself is the same as the one I posted last December. I did add a touch of honey this time.
If you can get through the apple peeling and chopping this recipe is a snap. Let me know if you try it! I’d love to hear –
- 12 apples (I used Pippins)
- Juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 2 cinnamon sticks plus a couple sprinkles
- 2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- spray oil
- Core, peel, and chop apples in 1 inch cubes
- Spray the inside of a crockpot with spray oil
- Heat the crockpot on high and set the timer for 4 hours
- Put chopped apples, lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks into the pot
- Add honey if desired and sprinkle in cinnamon
- Stir every hour or so of cooking
- Let cool, store in mason jars or glass tupperware
- This recipe yields exactly 2 small, 16 ounce mason jars, or 32 ounces total which is equivalent to 4 cups of applesauce
- The apple sauce will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge although it won't last that long before it is eaten up 😉
Hugs and Cheers!