I recently hit the Gala apple jackpot. One of my co-workers–the same one with the peach abundance–happens to also have quite a few apple trees on his property. He has already donated many boxes of fruit to help those who are less fortunate; what he brings into the office is just a small portion of the windfall. Though I can imagine that for him, it’s not as much of a blessing as it appears to us–it’s a lot of WORK.
As I looked at my plastic grocery bag full of Galas, I grinned stupidly thinking about all the things I could make with them. I certainly never have this many on hand under normal circumstances! After filling a bowl on the table for the kids’ snacks, the first thing I made was applesauce. Slow Cooker Applesauce, to be exact. It doesn’t get any easier than that–which is good because I’ve never made applesauce before. The old “fix it and forget it” mentality is a wonderful thing when it comes to something like apples, which will fill your house with the most amazing aroma just in time for your arrival home from work. Ahhh… Cinnamon apple aromatherapy!
The only mistake I made was a bit too much water in the beginning, which I strained out before mashing, serving spoon by serving spoon. I feared that I had lost a lot of flavor doing that, but once the applesauce cooled, it was perfect. Not too runny, flavored just right. YUM. I had high hopes for canning the extra sauce, but, believe it or not, a 4.5-quart capacity slow cooker full of apples ends up cooking down to nearly nothing. I had just shy of 1 quart of applesauce when all was said and done. I guess it’ll take a bit more effort than I put in to fill the pantry shelves.
- 12 Gala apples (or as many as it takes to fill the slow cooker)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup Sugar In The Raw (turbinado sugar)
- ¼ cup water (I used ½ cup and it was too much)
- Peel and core apples, cutting into large chunks, tossing into the slow cooker crock.
- Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top of the chunks.
- Pour the water over the top and stir.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and set on low heat.
- Cook for 4-6 hours, or until very soft.
- Mash with a potato masher for chunky applesauce; process through a food mill for finer sauce (highly recommend the mill, if you have it).
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.