Here’s an easy recipe for making homemade applesauce with Honeycrisp apples and without any added sugar. It’s very simple to make applesauce in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. I love fall when Honeycrisp apples are in season. These juicy, sweet apples are versatile and delicious to either enjoy fresh or use for cooking and baking.
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I will show you how to make homemade applesauce with Honeycrisp (or other) apples so you can enjoy the goodness of your favorite apples at any time of the year. Honeycrisps are also called “honeycrunch” apples.
This is natural applesauce without any added sweeteners. So many processed foods like applesauce have added sugar in them, but it is really not needed. I could see if a food is bitter or sour, but not apples. This homemade applesauce definitely a healthier version than the typical jarred applesauce.
Picking Your Own Apples
Honeycrisps are my favorite apple, favorite, fruit, favorite snack, and possible favorite food!!! Here in Pennsylvania, this variety is fresh from local farms usually in the middle of September. We love to visit Solebury Orchards where we can pick apples (and blackberries, raspberries, cherry tomatoes, plus gorgeous flowers!). Last time we visited they even had some frozen apple cider as a natural slushy – perfect for a hot day!
Invariably I’m at the farm in August for blackberries and cherry tomatoes and am sad that it’s not prime apple season yet. I have had Honeycrisps from other areas and other times of the year, and they simply don’t compare to eating them fresh in season.
How to Use Applesauce in Cooking
You may know that you can use applesauce to replace butter or oil in recipes. But it also can be a substitute for eggs. This can help you “veganize” recipes.
Applesauce is tasty in muffins, quick breads, cakes, cookies, waffles, and pancakes. I have used it in these recipes for Homemade Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bread with Walnuts, Orange Cranberry Muffins and, Spiced Carrot Raisin Muffins. The mild flavor makes it very versatile for baking as a way to replace eggs or some fat in a recipe. It is also great to eat as is! This recipe is so easy to make that you may never buy premade applesauce again.
How to Prepare the Apples for Homemade Applesauce
First, peel, core, and chop the apples. You can use a vegetable peeler or a corer/slicer/peeler. If you don’t have Honeycrisp apples, try Granny Smith, Galas, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Cosmic crisp, or Fuji apples.
This is the most time-consuming step. Don’t let it deter you: listen to some good music or a podcast and get peeling!
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Cooking in a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot
Next, place the sliced apples with the water, lemon, and cinnamon into the slow cooker. It may take 3 – 5 hours until the applesauce is soft and cooked well. Keep an eye on your slow cooker in case you need more water or to give the apples a stir. One of mine cooks very fast, whereas I have a larger one that always takes longer.
When the apples are soft, just mash them with a potato masher, a whisk, or the back of a wooden spoon until they are as smooth as you like.
I just got an Instant Pot and tried this recipe in it. Wow: super fast – which as you know, is the wonderful thing about Instant Pots! I cooked the apples on high pressure for 8 minutes and turned off the keep it warm button. I allowed for a natural pressure release (really just because I was busy). Then I mushed the applesauce with a potato masher. This was a 6-quart Instant Pot. I highly recommend this method
After the applesauce is done, let it cool somewhat before eating or placing it into containers for storage. You can store it in the refrigerator for a few days, or in the freezer for a few months.
Related Recipes You May Enjoy
- Slow Cooker Apple Crisp
- Homemade Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bread with Walnuts
- Vegan Broccoli Pesto Pizza
- Ultimate High Protein Breakfast Burritos
- Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks
- The Best Chocolate Banana Smoothie
Honeycrisp Homemade Applesauce: Easy Slow Cooker Recipe
- Slow cooker
- paring knife
- Vegetable peeler
- 6 Honeycrisp apples peeled and chopped
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Combine the apples, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a slow cooker and mix together. Cover with the lid.
- Cook on high for about 3½ to 4½ hours or until soft.
- Mash the cooked apples with a potato masher, mix with a whisk, or mask with the back of a large wooden spoon until they are as smooth as you like.
And that’s it! You can relax while enjoying the delicious aroma filling your home. There is no need for added sugar, which is a big plus as compared to store-bought varieties.
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Have you tried this recipe? If so, please let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Originally published 9/9/18 Revised 8/29/22