In Season: More Apples

So, it is finally time to make my applesauce!  We picked our apples, I bought a shiny, new food mill, and now I’m ready to roll!  I had already hauled out my great big stock pot, in which I planned to slowly stew my apples.  But as I was sorting through boxes of cookbooks I’d collected for my annual charity cookbook sale, I came across a book on slow-cookers.  I had one of Oprah’s “aha moments” and decided to forgo the stock pot for my crock pot!  Why not?  I could just toss in the apples, leave them there, and not have to worry about leaving my stove on for hours (because that always sets off the gas alarm in my kitchen, and with young kids, I don’t like the idea of a flame being on for so long). 

As mentioned in my previous post, the beauty of a food mill is that no peeling or coring is required before cooking the apples.  Simply cut them in half (or quarters if the apples are particularly large), and place into the crock pot with a little water or apple cider.  After a few hours, the apples will break down and become very soft, at which point they go into the food mill.  With a few (dozen) turns of the crank, smooth, delicious applesauce streams out of the base of the mill, leaving all the seeds, fibrous core, and skins behind.  At that point you may add sugar, but I found the batch I made didn’t even need it…so be sure to taste before adding any sweeteners. 

So what if you don’t have a food mill, and don’t want to shell out the cash for one?  No problem!  It will take a bit more prep time, but you’ll get the same result.  You’ll need to peel and core each apple before adding it to the slow cooker.  It will require slightly less cooking time since the heat doesn’t have to work through the skins and cores.  Once the apples are softened, you can use a potato masher, food processor, or even a big fork (for a chunkier result)  to finish the dish. 

Crock-Pot Applesauce

Makes about 4 cups

8 medium apples, cut in half

3/4 cup water or apple cider

Sugar (optional)

Cinnamon (optional)

Place all ingredients in a slow-cooker and set temperature to high.

Allow to cook for approximately 3 hours, or until apples are very soft and hot.  You may want to stir the apples around a couple times during cooking.

Place a food mill over a large bowl.  Transfer the apples, a little at a time, to the food mill and process until all the apple pulp has been pressed through the sieve.  Repeat until all apples have been processed.

Test the applesauce for sweetness, and add sugar, ¼ cup at a time until desired sweetness is reached.  Add 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon if desired.

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One Response to “In Season: More Apples”

  1. paula Says:

    what a great idea! why didn’t i think of
    that? simple and safe. thanks~

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