Spiced Slow Cooker Applesauce – The recipe couldn’t be easier. Pop everything in the slow cooker and six hours later you have applesauce!
It is certainly the fall season in our part of the country! The leaves are showing their beautiful autumnal colors and the morning temperatures are noticeably cooler. Fall around here also means one more thing – apple season!
Having lived most of my life in the southern part of the state, I never realized until we moved to north Georgia just how important the apple crop is to this area. At this time of year, there are more fresh apples around here than you could imagine. Loads of different varieties, too.
Most years, BeeBop and I enjoy taking a few short road trips to some of the many places in the north Georgia mountains where fresh apples are plentiful. I always bring back some to make this delicious Spiced Slow Cooker Applesauce.
If you’ve never made homemade applesauce, you’re in for a real treat. The homemade version beats the pants off the bottled stuff from the grocery store. It’s so easy to make and using your slow cooker almost guarantees that you absolutely will not scorch it.
There are at least a million recipes for applesauce and every cook has their own method. Some don’t add any sugar or spices at all – just apples. That’s really good, too. Especially for babies. But I like mine just a little spicy. Warm fall spices make my applesauce perfect for this time of year.
- Apples (Choose a mix of two or three different apple varieties for best flavor.)
- Brown Sugar (I have used Splenda brown sugar substitute in this recipe with good results.)
- Cardamom (Optional but really gives a lovely background flavor to the applesauce.)
You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Spiced Slow Cooker Applesauce
Let’s Go Step-by-Step
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.
Choose the Apples
When selecting apples for applesauce, keep in mind that it’s always best to have a mix of different varieties for the best flavor. Two or three different types is sufficient.
I like to use at least one really sweet variety like Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, or Golden Delicious along with a sweet-tart variety such as Braeburn, Rome, or Pink Lady. If you want your applesauce to have more of a distinctly tart flavor, you could also include a few that fall in the tart category like Macoun or Granny Smith. The only apple I wouldn’t recommend is the Red Delicious. They’re just not great for cooking.
Honestly, though, your applesauce is going to taste great no matter what combination of apples you select. It’s really hard to mess this up.
Prep the Apples
For this recipe, you’ll need just 6 to 8 apples.
Wash, peel, and core the apples.
Tip: If you want your applesauce to have a pretty pink color, include a red skinned variety and leave the peels on. Strain the peels out after cooking.
Cook the Applesauce
Place all the ingredients into a slow cooker. Set it on low heat and cook for six hours. Be sure to stir the ingredients once or twice during the cooking time.
Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. It’s all good!
Finish the Applesauce
After six hours, the apples will be soft but still retain a little texture. All you need to do is stir with a wooden spoon or a whisk to break everything up. If you prefer a very smooth texture, you can use an immersion blender directly in the slow cooker.
Some people prefer their applesauce without embellishment. If that’s your choice, simply omit everything but the apples and you’ll have plain, simple, delicious applesauce.
Any leftover applesauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. It also freezes very well. I like to freeze applesauce in rigid plastic containers but you can also use plastic freezer bags. It keeps for three to six months frozen.
Spiced Slow Cooker Applesauce
- 8 apples
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)
- 4 strips lemon peel
- juice of half a lemon
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom optional
- Wash, peel, and core the apples. Cut them into quarters or eighths. Place prepared apples and remaining ingredients in a slow cooker.
- Cook on low heat for 6 hours. Stir once or twice during cooking time.
- Remove the lemon peel if desired (I leave it in). Stir well. An immersion blender may be used if a smoother texture is desired.
- Choose a mix of two or three different apple varieties for best flavor.
- If you want your applesauce to have a pretty pink color, include a red skinned variety and leave the peels on. Strain the peels out after cooking.
- For plain, un-spiced applesauce simply omit everything but the apples.
- Any leftover applesauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen for three to six months.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.