The other day my parents shared a bunch of “seconds” with us from a trip to a local apple orchard.
If you’re wondering what “seconds” are, they’re the fruits and veggies that are too bruised, oddly shaped, or bug-holed to be sold in the “regular” market. They’re the ugly fruits.
Personally, I love these imperfect fruits because it’s clear to me that pesticides and other unhealthy additives weren’t used. Yay! And, produce doesn’t have to look perfect to taste perfect. True story.
This particular bagful contained nearly 20 apples, and since I didn’t have any other all-day plans for my slow cooker, I thought:
Why not make homemade applesauce in the slow cooker?
This involved lots of peeling and dicing.
I used all 18 apples that came in the bag. (That’s a lot of peeling.)
Once ALL the apples were peeled and diced, into the slow cooker they went with lemon juice + zest, cinnamon, brown sugar, cardamom and a little apple cider! And then they cooked, low and slow.
Seven hours later, I was left with apples that were fall-apart-tender and completely transformed into a dark, rich color. The scent in the house was UNbelievable.
I scooped them out into a large bowl with a slotted spoon because there was a little more juice in there than I wanted in the applesauce. Then I used a simple handheld metal potato masher to make the applesauce, but honestly, I could’ve just used a fork (that’s how amazingly tender those apples were).
My husband had to try the applesauce before it had even cooled. His reaction?
HOT damn! That’s the best applesauce I’ve ever had.
Well, then. Thankyouverymuch.
- 18-20 medium apples (any variety)
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- ½ cup apple cider
- Peel and then slice the apples into large chucks (6-8 slices each). Toss the apple slices into a slow cooker.
- Add the lemon zest + juice, cinnamon, brown sugar, cardamom and cider, and then toss everything together to coat the apples completely. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hours.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked apples to a large bowl, and then use a fork or potato masher to turn the apples into applesauce! Cool completely before serving. Makes about 4 cups.