Apples. By now you know I am obsessed this year so suffice it to say that this will certainly not be the last apple recipe you get this fall! In fact, next week you are going to get one of my favorite snack recipes that will use up some of this applesauce should you have any leftover!
Applesauce is one of those things that I loved as a kid and then re-discovered as an adult. It’s so delicious, sweet enough to feel like a treat and healthy enough to not feel guilty about it. Plus, its so versatile you can eat it plan, use it as a topping, cook with it, bake with it – there are so many options! Oh and if you make this slow cooker version it also makes your house smell SO GOOD.
So good in fact that most Sundays I like to make a batch just to enjoy the smell!
Now, I have an important question – are you team smooth or team chunky?
There are many varying opinions on this and I will happily eat both but lean towards a chunkier applesauce. Something about still being able to chew on those simmered apples adds to my enjoyment.
One thing I love about this recipe is that whether you are team chunky or team smooth – it doesn’t matter! The longer you cook the apples the more they will break down and at the end if it’s not smooth enough for you, about 30 seconds in a blender or food processor will do the trick!
This recipe I use as a base for a lot of my fall cooking and baking as well. You will notice it isn’t “seasoned” and it isn’t sweetened, it’s a simple 3-ingredient hands-off base recipe. Well, 5 ingredients if you count the water and salt but I’m going to assume you have access to those already in your kitchen! Because that is what I make most often to keep on hand!
But, even though this is a simplified version, you can absolutely sweeten this to your liking – maple and brown sugar are both amazing in it. You can use coconut sugar, honey, really the possibilities are endless! You can also spice it up with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pumpkin pie spice – I have tried them all and they are all soooo good!
I hope you will make this recipe with all the apples that you are sure to accumulate over the next month and let me know what twist you put on it! Oh and freeze some too because once you run out of fresh apples, you will regret not having any more!
3 Ingredient Applesauce
- 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 2 2-inch strips lemon peel
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Place the chopped apples into the crock of your slow cooker. I generally use a mixture of Honeycrisp and Yellow Delicious but you can use whatever mixture you prefer!
To the apples add the cinnamon sticks, lemon peel (I use a vegetable peeler to shave off 2 strips of the peel about 2 inches long), salt and water
Place lid on the slow cooker and set to low for 6 hours. Stir occasionally if desired. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating, applesauce will thicken up as it cools. If you prefer a thinner consistency, blend to desired texture before refrigerating.
If you plan to blend this applesauce prior to eating, you can leave the skin on the apples and just chop them up! I prefer mine to have more texture which is why I remove the skins but there are so many great nutrients in the skin there is no harm in leaving them on if you plan to blend it up!