I made applesauce in my crockpot for the first time this fall. I used about 6 pounds of apples that were “seconds” with some blemishes. Because they were very small, I decided to wash, core and slice them into my crockpot without peeling the skin off first. The crockpot worked great; however, I will peel the apples next time. There were little slivery sharp pieces of skin in the applesauce after I used the immersion blender. I ended up straining it all through a fine sieve (which was a more tedious process than peeling) to get smooth applesauce.
The variety of apples used will determine the cooking time and flavor of your applesauce. This year I’ve used Beacon, State Fair, Zestar, Honey Crisp and Haralson in all combinations. The apple variety and whether or not you like your applesauce a little on the chunky side or finely pureed, will also determine the quantity of jars made from each recipe. Sometimes my batch will make 5 pints and other times I get 7 plus pints of applesauce.
SLOW COOKER APPLESAUCE
6 pounds apples, washed, peeled and cored
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Thinly slice apples and place into a slow cooker. Add water. Cook on high 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and cook an additional 2 hours until apples become soft. Puree with an immersion blender and stir in cinnamon. Ladle hot applesauce into sterilized pint jars. Store in refrigerator or process 20 minutes in a boiling water canner. (Refer to the canning page in our book, Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World®.)