Posted by: A Part of the Solution | August 17, 2010

Easy Applesauce and Apple Butter

The apple tree in our front yard has responded to the stress of our ongoing drought situation this year by dropping apples early and often. There are pecks upon pecks (a peck being equal to two dry gallons) of apples lying under the tree. Which is not to say that there aren’t any apples left on the tree to continue ripening with flushes and stripes of red over the green.

I saw those apples for the first time last year, when the farm was still a dream we hoped to realize. I wanted those apples to be mine. I wanted to use them every way I could think of and a few I would stumble across in the course of researching some other recipe subset altogether. Now I have that privilege, and I’m serious about making the most of my fruit trees.

Happily, I have a crock pot and I’m not afraid to plug it in. If I make too much, I’ll gift it away to visitors and CSA members and the like. But it’s hard to imagine making too much, given how even the early batches are tasting.

So get yourself a box of  ‘seconds’ at your farmers’ market. Or from the local orchard. Or in the front/back/side yard of a neighbor/friend/colleague. This time of year, there are more imperfect apples than there are people who know what to do with them. Once you’re in the know, you’ll be eating homemade applesauce and apple butter for as long as it holds out.

Peel an apple. Cut close to the core across the apple, you’ll have taken a quarter of it off. Rotate the apple ninety degrees (a quarter turn). Cut the apple close to the core–obviously trying not to include the seeds or their stiff cellulose cases. Rotate a quarter turn and cut again. Your fourth and last cut will leave you with a squared off core and four pieces of apple flesh. Chop these coarsely and throw them in the crock pot. Repeat until you run out of apples, or space in the crock pot: whichever comes first.

Put a half cup to a cup of water in the crock pot. The larger amount is for a five or six quart crock pot, the smller for a two quart crock pot. Put the lid on and set the pot on ‘high’ for about and hour–you want the apples to be bubbling and fragrant when you turn them down to ‘low’. Now leave them there until morning, or for twelve hours. Taste the applesauce. Does it need salt? Sugar? Cinnamon? A squeeze of lemon juice? Add whatever you think it needs and let it cook a while longer. Now, if you want applesauce, pour it into containers, let it cool and throw it into the fridge with a tight lid on. If you want it to be applebutter, cook it down for another day or so. If it isn’t thickening up nicely, set the lid askew to help with evaporation. Enjoy!



  1. […] (less soft, less wormy, not fermented) have been converted–and are still being converted into applesauce and apple butter–through the tireless offices of the six quart slow cooker MAP (My Anonymous Partner) bought […]

  2. […] been using up a lot of apples in the kitchen since July. I’ve already described how to make easy applesauce and apple butter. Applesauce cake is among the things to do with all the lovely applesauce you can make in your slow […]

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