Simple Homemade Applesauce (Unsweetened)
This is my super-simple applesauce recipe… Really, it couldn’t be easier. With less than 10 minutes of hands-on time, there is NO reason not to make this. Immediately.
(Full-disclosure – this recipe requires a slow-cooker/crock-pot).
9 medium apples of your choice (preferably NOT Granny Smith – too sour!)
2 large lemons, juiced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
With so few ingredients, it is easy to double or even triple this recipe (just make sure your slow-cooker is large enough!). For a batch and a half, I use this red 4-quart slow-cooker with no problem. If I was going to make a double or triple batch, I would move up to my 6-quart cooker.
This is an unsweetened applesauce, and Tristan and I both love the taste. The combination of the vanilla extract and the cinnamon actually makes it taste a wee bit sweet, I believe.
Wash your apples, but don’t worry about peeling them.
Core the apples, using the cheat-method like me – cut all four “cheeks” off the sides of the apple, leaving the core intact ( and ta-da! a cored apple).
Slice or chop your apples into large chunks. (you certainly don’t need to waste your time being precious about the size or shape – it doesn’t matter at all).
Plop the apple slices into the slow-cooker, add the lemon juice, vanilla extract and sprinkle in the cinnamon.
Put the lid on, and set your cooker to LOW.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours, and enjoy the most amazing smelling kitchen during this time!
Once your apples are soft and juicy, mash with a potato masher, to achieve the applesauce consistency you desire.
Then, if you’re like me – whip out the immersion blender and go to town. It doesn’t take long. The skins blend right up, giving the applesauce a lovely hue, and TASTE!
I for one, don’t like the mouth-feel of cooked apple skins (eww), but I want the nutritional benefits of the skin. (And let’s be honest – I don’t want to peel that many apples, either!). So, I found a way to leave the skin on, while ending up with a smooth final product… blending!
I use my Cuisinart immersion blender, but you could certainly blend the cooked apples up a blender, (working in batches), as well. Or, if you don’t have issues with cooked apple skins separating from the apple bits (again – ewww), just stop at the mashing step.
We keep this in the refrigerator for about a week… IF it lasts that long. A week is about my standard time-frame for food safety and freshness, when it comes to home-cooking, it seems. This applesauce also freezes well, if that’s your thing.