This year, I am going to try very hard to give away as many homemade holiday gifts as possible. Every year I try to do more and more homemade projects, and one of these years, every gift I give will be homemade.
I thought a good place to start would be with a big case of fresh, organic apples — I’m lucky enough to have a great local CSA subscription service where I can include a huge case of certain types of produce along with my weekly box of delicious items.
Using my trusty slow cooker, I made 12 quart jars of delicious spiced apple butter.
Check out my recipe for apple butter, as well as other great crock pot recipes, here.
I also found a way to use my slow cooker for applesauce, which was easier than I ever could have imagined. Luckily, my appliances did all of the work: my crock pot simmered the ingredients, my immersion blender pureed everything, and then it was done.
Crock Pot Applesauce
(using a 5-quart slow cooker)
- approx 4 lbs of apples, chopped (enough to nearly fill the crock pot)
- 2-3 tbsp raw, organic honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 splash vanilla extract (optional)
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon (optional)
Yes, you read that right. Only three ingredients, unless you opt for additional flavoring. Just apples (of any type), a bit of acid (lemon juice) and some honey. You don’t even need to peel the apples, just scrub them and chop them. The crock pot does all the work, and 6-8 hours later, the apples will be soft enough for your immersion blender to puree into a smooth applesauce.
Note: a longer slow-cooking time will make the applesauce sweeter. If you prefer your applesauce less sweet, cook for 4-6 hours. Cooking for 8 hours or more will make the sauce extra sweet.
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