This slow cooker applesauce requires no work and only four ingredients: apples, brown sugar, ginger, and apple juice. You’ll never go back to jarred sauce again.
Slow Cooker Applesauce
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 6 H, 15 M
- Makes 6 cups
Special Equipment: Slow cooker
Squarely cut the apples off their cores. Roughly chop the apple wedges to make them approximately the same size and toss them in your slow cooker. Don’t forget to compost the apple cores. Add the sugar, ginger, and water to the slow cooker and stir a bit to coat the apples evenly. Cover and cook at any setting for 6 hours or so, until the apples are incredibly soft.
Process the apple mixture through an old-fashioned food mill or a new-fangled food processor until you reach the desired consistency. (The benefit to a food mill is it will remove any small pieces of peel.)
To refrigerate the applesauce, cover and stash it in the fridge for up to 6 days.
To freeze the applesauce, portion it into 1/2-cup servings, tightly seal in resealable plastic bags, and freeze for up to 6 months.
To seal the applesauce, get out your canning gear, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and store at room temperature for up to 1 year. Originally published October 17, 2018.
- What You Need To Know About Whether To Peel Or Not Peel Your Apples
Doesn’t really matter if you take the time to peel your apples or not for this recipe, as everything is blended together into a mush anyways. Leaving the peels in place will result in a slightly darker applesauce than usual with a few more antioxidants. Up to you.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This is a solid applesauce recipe. The ginger gives it a twist that's different than the usual applesauce seasoning and, to my taste, better. It's bright and full of zing. It's a really simple, easy applesauce that I would happily make again.
I used a mix of local apples which included Mutzu, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and a mystery variety. I used water instead of apple juice and a 6 quart-slow cooker, actually an electric multi-function pressure cooker, but on the slow cooker setting, and not under pressure. I used this at the "normal" temp setting, which I think correlates to "low" on a slow cooker. For blending, I just used an immersion blender in the pot.
The recipe tells you to core the apples but not to peel them, so I didn't peel. That works fine for taste, but will result in a slightly darker sauce. Decide for yourself what your preference would be. I also didn't peel the ginger, again per the recipe, and that works just fine as well. The 5 pounds of apples filled the 6-quart pot to the rim but they did cook down quite a bit.
The canning instructions are annoyingly vague (a pet peeve of mine), but applesauce is acidic enough that you can use a hot water bath to can it. Go to the National Center for Home Food Preservation for processing times for hot water bath or pressure canners.
One-line description: This foolproof applesauce is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet.
I wasn’t sure if a slow cooker applesauce recipe could really improve upon my 30-minute stovetop applesauce standby, but this was fantastic! The ginger added a welcome zing and the long, slow simmer gave the applesauce a deeper flavor and richer color than my usual recipe. We ate some for dessert then split the rest over two jars—one for the fridge, one for the freezer.
I've never applesauce with the peels intact so I ended up peeling the apples. Additionally, apples vary greatly in size and so just cutting them off the cores yields chunks of various sizes. I cut the apples so that the pieces were roughly the same size. Lastly, I was skeptical about the unpeeled ginger and it took a lot of will power for me not to peel it before tossing it in the slow cooker. I set it on low for 6 hours and stirred a few times throughout the process to aid in breaking up the apple chunks. It worked out fine, though in the future I will process the applesauce so that it’s less chunky as I encountered a few too-large pieces of ginger while eating.