My mom used to make applesauce as soon as the fall apples came in, and I’ve kept up her tradition with my own family. I even use her old crockpot. My favorite applesauce-making memory is from when my daughter was three years old, and we went on a preschool trip to pick apples for Rosh Hashanah. Her idea of picking apples was to take a bite from each apple before putting it in the bag, yet we still managed to salvage plenty of apples for the sauce. I sat her on the kitchen counter and did all the peeling and chopping myself, allowing her to “help” by placing each piece in the crockpot. Sure, more than a few of them had little bite marks, but that only made it sweeter. (Note: Anyone over three years old should NOT bite each piece).
- 1 dozen (4 to 5 pounds) mixed sweet and tart apples (Macouns, Fujis, Granny Smiths, or Pippins)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Peel, core, and slice the apples. Place in a crockpot and add the cinnamon. Cover and set the crockpot on high, then go away.
- The apples are done when they are tender enough to mash with a spoon, approximately 3½ hours. Stir thoroughly to make sure cinnamon is evenly distributed. Serve at room temperature or cold. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 1 month.
- Other warm spices will work well in this applesauce. Try 1 teaspoon cardamom or 1 tablespoon ‘Pumpkin Pie’ spice, which is a blend of nutmeg, allspice, clove, and ginger. The apples are also wonderful without any spice at all, yielding a rich apple flavor.