Slow Cooker Applesauce


Nothing makes the house smell quite like fall than the smell of cinnamon and apples slowly cooking all afternoon. I admit that I'm not one that often pulls out my slow cooker. Most of the good recipes I find require too many steps that, for me, eliminate the convince factor of using a slow cooker at all: searing meat and sautéing veggies before adding them to the pot. But this is worth my pulling out the heavy appliance, mainly because this recipe is a one step wonder: Just throw everything in, set it on high for four hours, and let the apples break down slowly to fill your house cinnamon-sweet smells.

From there, my four year old loves the job of official apple masher. I give him a potato masher and let him get to work! (makes 4 cups)

Combine the following ingredients in a slow cooker: 3 pounds of apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1 inch pieces; 2 cinnamon sticks; 1 tablespoon lemon juice; 1/2 cup water; 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (optional). Cook on high for 4 hours, stirring once or twice. Remove the cinnamon sticks, then use an immersion blender or potato masher to puree the applesauce. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.