Taste Applesauce for the First Time

Red Gala apples, hanging in a tree.
Jules_Kitano/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Every fall, we pick apples at a local orchard. We always go with friends and make a day of it, stopping at the country store for kettle corn and cider, sampling the varieties as we pick, and coming home with sticky hands and chins–and $40 worth of apples that won’t fit in the refrigerator.

Luckily, one of my favorite fall projects is making homemade applesauce. Trust me when I tell you that once you’ve had homemade applesauce, you’ll never buy another jar of that yellow stuff in the supermarket again. Homemade applesauce tastes like love and pie filling on a spoon.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Step 1: Wash Your Apples
    Even if they’re organic. Even though you’re peeling them. If you don’t wash them, any dirt and germs on the skins will be transferred into the flesh when you slice them. And that’s gross.
  • Step 2: Peel, Core and Slice Your ApplesYou can do this by hand and just cut the apples into quarters. But my kids love using this old-fashioned peeler. And I love free child labor.
  • Step 3: Load Your Apple Slices Into the Slow Cooker
  • Step 4: Add Your Ingredients
    I modified my recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking by skipping the sugar and cutting back the lemon juice. For a triple batch (12 apples), I used 1½ teaspoons cinnamon, 3 teaspoons vanilla, ¾ cup water, and the juice of one lemon. I set my slow cooker for four hours on High.
  • Step 5: SmashUse a potato masher at the end of the cooking cycle until you get the desired consistency.
  • Step 6: Spoon Into Jars or Containers and Refrigerate
    My triple recipe (12 apples) yielded about 2½ jars of applesauce.

Easy Crockpot Applesauce

Recipe by Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD

4 apples
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup water


  1. Peel, core, and slice apples and load into slow cooker.
  2. Add lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla and water. Cook on high for four to six hours.
  3. Smash with potato masher until desired consistency. Spoon into jars or containers and refrigerate.
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Sally Kuzemchak
Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, is a blogger on Real Mom Nutrition. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.