One of the many things that make fall my favorite time of the year: apple picking season!
There’s a huge apple orchard in the town I grew up in and, as a kid, I loved to visit every fall.
My family would come home with bagfuls of fresh apples we had picked ourselves, and my mom would set a big stock pot on the stove top to cook homemade applesauce, filling the house with the aromas of sweet, warm apples and cinnamon.
Today, I still visit that orchard and still stock up with bags of my own freshly picked apples.
Then I make homemade pumpkin applesauce using a slow cooker.
I like to make the applesauce special by adding rich, fall flavors like cinnamon, ginger, and maple.
And then I add a secret ingredient: pumpkin purée!
It helps make the sauce really rich and thick and is a perfect flavor complement to the apples.
(Side bonus: the pumpkin also adds tons of nutrition to the applesauce.)
If this is your first time cooking your own applesauce, I think you’ll agree: in terms of flavor, homemade is worlds beyond the packaged kind you can buy in the store!
It’s surprisingly easy to make too (only about 20 minutes of hands-on time).
Just peel and chop several apples, and the slow cooker does all of the work from there!
Here’s the recipe for Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Applesauce:
- Serving size: 8
- Calories: 72
- Fat: 0g
- Saturated fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 18.2g
- Sugar: 13.5g
- Sodium: 76mg
- Fiber: 2.1g
- Protein: .7g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total Time: 7 hours, 50 minutes
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Cook: 7 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
- 6-7 large Honeycrisp apples (or other sweet apple such as Cortland), peeled, cored, and diced
- ¾ cup pure pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons 100 percent pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Place the peeled, diced apples in a slow cooker set to high heat. Cover, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 3 hours, or until apples are cooked down to a thick, sauce-like consistency.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add all of the remaining ingredients (pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt) and stir until well combined. Cover and cook about 20-25 minutes longer.
- Place the peeled, diced apples in a slow cooker set to low heat. Cover, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 7½ hours, or until apples are cooked down to a thick, sauce-like consistency.
- With the heat still set to low, add all of the remaining ingredients (pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt) and stir until well combined. Cover and cook about 20-25 minutes longer.
*I estimate approximate nutrition information using the Verywell Recipe Nutrition Calculator.