Homemade crockpot applesauce is one of the easiest ways of preserving apples. This step by step recipe is perfect for canning applesauce or (freezing). Start making applesauce today!
I typically make unsweetened applesauce, but with delicious spices. The wonderful thing about this homemade crockpot applesauce recipe is it is very easy to make adjustments to make it 100% your own!
Most of the apples in my area don’t grow very large, so I don’t peel the apples when I make applesauce. I core them, make sure they’re cut in quarters, and toss them right into the slow cooker, along with just a bit of water.
Adding water to your slow cooker keeps the apples from sticking and burning. It’s does not take much, as the apples produce a lot of juice while they cook down.
Best Apples for Making Applesauce
There are several hundred varieties of apples, so you have a lot of choices when it comes to cooking with apples. Honestly, the best apples for applesauce are apples that you have access to locally.
Using several apple varieties will allow you to create your own special applesauce flavor.
If you have to buy apples, look for varieties that are labeled “saucing” apples and try to avoid getting “juicing” apples. Juicing apples will have quite a lot of liquid in them and will make a watery applesauce. If all you can find is juicing apples, then leave the lid off the crockpot or, at least ajar, so that some of the liquid can evaporate.
For Sweet Applesauce
- Golden Delicious
For Sweet and Tangy Applesauce
- Pink Lady
For Tart and Tangy Applesauce
For Tart Applesauce
- Granny Smith – this is great for adding in with other varieties to add a tangy flavor, but too tart for using by itself. Mix one pound of Granny Smith with two to three pounds of sweet apples.
The secret to not having to peel the apples and keep the recipe super easy is using an immersion blender.
Run your immersion blender through the mushy apples and watch the skins disappear. If you don’t have an immersion blender, I highly recommend going and buying one right away. They’re one of the handiest tools to have in the kitchen, not just for making applesauce but for all kinds of cooking and preserving food.
You can transfer the cooked apples into a blender, a food processor, or a food mill to make applesauce if you don’t have an immersion blender. Just be careful because the apples are hot. You’ll need to work in batches to get it all blended.
If you peeled the apples, you can use a potato masher and mash the cooked apples.
I typically can my applesauce in half pint jars. However, it can also be canned in pint and quart size jars as well. Choose whatever it best for your family’s needs.
While the applesauce is cooking in the slow cooker, prepare a water bath canner, jars and lids. Fill the water bath canner and heat over medium heat. Wash the jars in hot soapy water and check for any nicks or cracks. Wash lids in hot soapy water and set aside.
After the applesauce is blended, pour into the hot jars leaving a 1/2″ headspace. Remove the air bubbles with bubble remover or spatula. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp cloth. Put the lids and rings on the jars and tighten.
Put the jars into the prepared water bath canner making sure the water is covering the jars by at least an inch. Process half pints and pints for 15 minutes and quarts for 20 minutes. Be sure to adjust for altitude.
Homemade Applesauce Variations
As I said above, I don’t add sugar to my applesauce, but you can if you choose to. For the recipe below, use about a cup and a half of sugar. You could also add honey or maple syrup to sweeten applesauce.
Fall spices such as a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, make a great homemade flavored applesauce. I’ve included the quantities in the printable recipe below. However, you can adjust however you like.
Other possible variations include:
- Only cinnamon
- No spices
- 2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- Fruit puree such as blueberries, cranberry, strawberry, or mango
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- 6 pounds apples, cored and quartered
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- Get boiling water canner ready. Wash jars and lids. Have rings ready. Since this jam is processed in the water bath canner for 20 minutes the jars don't need to be sterilized, just washed in hot soapy water.
- Add apples, water, and lemon juice to a 6 quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until apples are soft and mushy.
- Add spices (and sugar if using).
- Use an immersion blender to completely chop and blend skins and spices. Be watchful of splatter, it's hot! If using a food mill, do so carefully into a large bowl and return mix to the slow cooker on high.
- Bring applesauce back to a low boil and maintain a low boil while filling prepared canning jars.
- Pour the applesauce into jars, leaving 1/2" inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles with a wooden spoon or spatula and adjust headspace.
- Wipe rims, place lids and rings on jars.
- Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjust time for altitude.
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Serving Size:8 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 8gSugar: 35gProtein: 1g
If you don’t want to can the applesauce, you can freeze it in wide mouth mason jars. Just be sure to leave an inch or so head space for expansion as the applesauce freezes. Once the jars are filled, put the lids loosely on the jars and put them in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, move the cooled jars to the freezer.
Freezing in glass jars can be a little tricky and making sure they are completely cooled off before putting them in the freezer will keep them from breaking.
Other Apple Recipes
Instead of composting the apple cores (and peelings, if you peeled the apples), consider making apple cider vinegar with them.
The same apple varieties that are good for making applesauce are also really great for making canned apple pie filling. Be sure to check out our other apple recipes – you’ll never run out of ideas for your apple harvest.