This slow cooker spiced applesauce makes me happy. I’ve made it a few times this fall and winter and it disappears quickly. My husband and I find ourselves dipping into the applesauce for an after dinner dessert. Unlike many jarred applesauce this one is sweetened purely by the apples.
The first time I experimented with making slow cooker applesauce is when I brought home a bunch of apples I bought at the grocery on sale. They were beautiful, but when I cut into them not so beautiful… BUT they weren’t bad apples. They were just destined for other greatness!
This applesauce is the perfect way to use apples that might be a little discolored, mealy, or otherwise not appetizing. And it’s easy. Seriously easy. Don’t be intimidated by the slow cooker time. It takes very little hands on time to make slow cooker applesauce. Plus, while it’s cooking in the slow cooker, your house will smell amazing!
I used 12 medium apples (the size of apples you’d find in most bags of apples rather than the larger apples purchased per pound). I make quick work of peeling apples by peeling a circle around the stem and the bottom. Then I peel quick stripes down the apple. I’m not terribly picky about making sure I get every last bit of peel. I mostly peel them. A little bit of red peel could give your spiced applesauce a pretty rosy color, depending on how highly pigmented the peel is.
I have used a variety of apples in the slow cooker spiced applesauce and they each bring a different flavor. Both Gala and Jonagold are good choices, but feel free to experiment here. Pick an apple that you enjoy eating and your applesauce will turn out fantastic.
Once the apples are peeled a slice and chop them. Again, I’m not terribly picky about the size. I like my applesauce to be a bit chunky. The smaller your apple pieces the less chunky your applesauce will be. In addition to chopped size, the length of cooking time also impacts the smoothness or chunkiness of the applesauce.
The first time I made slow cooker spiced applesauce, I put the tea ball with mulling spices on top. It wasn’t nearly as spicy as I had hoped. It was more gently fragranced with spice than flavored with spice. Putting the tea ball under the apples allows the apples juices to simmer with the mulling spices. Definitely my preference, but if you want a gently spiced applesauce, put the spice ball on top or use less mulling spice.
I use a tea ball like this. Everyone should have a mesh tea ball rolling around in their kitchen drawer. They come in handy for many tasks. Tea balls are also great for sprinkling a dusting of powdered sugar over a cake.
When the applesauce is done cooking in the slow cooker, it’s not going to look much like applesauce. But trust me, those chunks of apples are barely holding it together. Remove the tea ball. With the back of a wood or silicone spoon (so you don’t scratch your slow cooker) gently squish the apples. In less than a minute those apples will let loose and give way to a fantastic sauce.
Pick up some apples at the grocery this week and give it a go. If you aren’t a fan of sweet snacks, try this slow cooked spiced applesauce served over a pork chop. Divine!
I love a chunky spiced applesauce. Because the spices are cooked with the apples, the cinnamon and spices are even in every bite.
- 12 medium apples
- juice 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon mulling spices in a tea ball
- pinch of salt
- Peel and core the apples. Chop apples into bite size pieces. Bigger pieces mean chunkier applesauce.
- Add the tea ball with 1 tablespoon mulling spices on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with the chopped apples, lemon juice, and pinch of salt.
- In a 6 quart slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours.
- Gently smash with a large wooden or silicone spoon to retain some chunks or mash with a potato masher for a smoother applesauce. You can also puree with an immersion blender if you want a super smooth applesauce.
This applesauce keeps in the fridge for a week in a air tight container, but I doubt it will last that long.
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup
- Calories: 141
- Sugar: 28.4g
- Sodium: 18mg
- Fat: 0.5g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 37.6g
- Fiber: 6.6g
- Protein: 0.8g
- Cholesterol: 0mg