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Since your slow cooker is sitting on your counter for warm, hearty winter dinners, it's the perfect time to use this invaluable kitchen appliance for homemade applesauce. Great for breakfast, a healthy snack, or vegan side dish for your savory meals, this spicy applesauce will quickly become a winter slow cooker favorite.
Slow Cooker Applesauce
Makes about 3 cups
8 apples of your choice, cored, chopped
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole star anise
6 whole cloves
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar or more to taste
Place apples in the slow cooker and add lemon zest and juice.
In a square of cheesecloth, combine cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and ginger. Wrap cheesecloth around spices and tie to secure. Place it in the slow cooker.
Sprinkle brown sugar over ingredients and give a quick stir.
Cook on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours. Remove spice bag. Use an immersion blender to make smooth or chunky applesauce, depending on your liking.
Adjust taste by adding more sugar or ground spices. Serve warm.
Cook's note: Applesauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container. You can also can the applesauce in mason jars for future use.