Since 2020 has had so many lowlights, I figured this was the perfect fall for me to also cut back on seasonal sweets for health reasons. Why not make things even more miserable? I can go one autumn without homemade desserts like apple crisp, apple pie a la mode (topped with a little cheddar cheese), and Disneyland apple slices with dipping caramel. My waistline will thank me, even though my sweet tooth feels abandoned. But then we come to homemade applesauce.
Slow cooker applesauce to the rescue. I love making applesauce in the fall in the slow cooker, with plenty of apple and cinnamon scents wafting through the home. I eliminate the added sugar, often as an experiment to see if it turns out sweet enough. After all, when I bite into a raw apple, I don’t sprinkle sugar on it. It is plenty sweet on its own.
When I was a fourth grade teacher, as did many of my teaching colleagues, I’d make slow cooker applesauce in the classroom every fall. The apples would soften and warm all day long and the classroom smelled much better than usual. Many teachers do this for Johnny Appleseed Day, which may be a celebration merely to give a theme to making homemade, or classmade, applesauce during the hours of academic life. What a little sweet treat for the students in the afternoon!
Here is the recipe I used this year. I used all the apples we had around the kitchen. I’m not sure of the brands. I don’t peel them either. We like a more rustic applesauce around here. And I love skipping that step. I did not add any butter.
The first batch of apples I cut into were bad on the inside. You can read more about that here. I had to use other apples. These are said to not taste great. One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch, contrary to the popular saying.
The sweet and cinnamon aroma filled the afternoon, building anticipation of a homemade evening treat.
Later that night, we enjoyed small bowls of homemade, delicious, chunky, rustic applesauce and added some whip cream, just to add a little pizazz. The applesauce was sweet enough, even without the added sugar.
Fall foods and cooking are part of the season, even in a pandemic. I am grateful for these simple traditions and pleasures. Next up, butternut squash? Perhaps. We’ll see.
Simple pleasures. Simple blessings.
Stay saucy, friends. Applesaucy.