Have you ever made applesauce? Last year was my first year. It turned out unbelievably delicious, but I only made about 3 quarts because it was SO MUCH WORK--the peeling, coring, slicing, cooking, mashing-- for a small yield.
This year I had pretty much decided it wasn't worth all the work, until I saw this post from SewCreative. She made applesauce without peeling her apples. She just mashed them after they cooked in her slow-cooker. I was intrigued.
I live in Washington, and yes our apples are delicious, so when I had a chance to get 40 lbs for $24, I jumped on it, and decided I would try the no-peel deal.
SUCCESS! I will show you what I did and why I was so happy with the MUCH LESS WORK approach.
You will need:
- Apples (duh.) I used half Fuji and half Sunny Sweet (a sweet variety that the farm I purchased from has developed--similar to Honey Crisp).
- Bottled lemon juice
- Cinnamon, if desired
- A slow-cooker
- A blender
- Canning supplies
1. Core and slice your apples. I cut mine into 8ths. Fill your crockpot with the apples. Mix 1/4 cup of lemon juice with 1 cup of water and pour over the apples. (This is for a 4 quart slow-cooker, but would work fine for larger. Cut back the water for smaller cookers).
2. Drizzle honey over the apples. I didn't measure this. but you can see that I was fairly generous. I would estimate 1/3 cup of honey. Sprinkle with desired amount of cinnamon. I probably sprinkled 1.5 teaspoons. Give the apples a good stir. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours.
4. Spoon the cooked apples into the blender. It is okay to get lots of juice in there, too, just not so much that it covers the apples. Blend on high 2 minutes, or until all skin is pulverized. (If you have one of those blenders that can obliterate a cellphone and keep on going, you may only need to blend for a few seconds. I'll withhold my jealousy.)
5. Look how pretty it is! See the tiny dark specks? That's the pulverized peels. They are completely undetectable in the texture when you eat this. It is smooth--like buttah, baby.
6. Pour hot sauce in to prepared jars. Place lids and rings, and process in a water-bath canner for 15 minutes (pints), 20 minutes (quarts).
My yield: 9 quarts! This was from three batches in the slow-cooker. I went on a run, taught an exercise class, cleaned (parts of) my house, shopped, picked up and took kids to and from their activities, made dinner, did some blog maintenance, and made apple pie filling all in the same day as making this applesauce. NO WAY I would've accomplished so much if I had had to peel all those apples!