Yes, this slow-cooker apple sauce is so easy, 1st graders could make it. In fact, 1st graders did make it! Well, except for the cutting-up-the-apples part - that part should be (and was) handled by an adult. But don't let the ease of it fool you into thinking it isn't delicious. It's absolutely delicious! Just ask my first graders ... and me.
This past Friday, we took a field trip to an apple orchard. We heard from Johnny Appleseed, saw how apple cider is made, went on a hay ride, made a life-sized scarecrow (and brought him back to school on the school bus ~~ THAT was interesting!), ate apple donuts, and had a wonderful picnic lunch ... all on an absolutely, perfectly gorgeous fall day. Oh, and my class named our scarecrow Elvis. Elvis the scarecrow. Yup, Elvis. Do 6-year-olds even know who Elvis is??
To get ready for this trip, we learned all about the apple-growing life cycle, the seasons of the apple tree, and ... of course ... made this apple sauce. It was the easiest apple sauce ever, thanks to the so-simple method and little helpers.
Start by peeling and chopping up some apples. We used a mixture of apples I had picked the previous weekend -- mostly Rome (my favorite!) with some Jonigold, Golden Delicious, and Fuji, too.
Check out this enormous Fuji apple - it may be the biggest apple I've ever seen! Pretty cool that one of our vocabulary words this week was enormous - several students even used that word in their writing to describe the apple. Love it when that happens.
Throw your chopped apples into a slow-cooker, toss them with some sugar and cinnamon ...
... add a tiny bit of water, and give them a good stir.
Cook them for several hours, and you'll end up with gorgeous and delicious apple sauce ...
... that will be enjoyed by wee ones ...
... and not-so-wee ones, alike.
Source: Adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking
12 c. chopped baking apples (about 4 lbs. of apples)
1/3 to 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. water
2 tsp. vanilla
1. Peel and core apples; chop into about 1/2-inch pieces.
2. Place apples, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in slow cooker; tossing to coat. Add water and stir.
3. Cook until apples are tender and broken down into an applesauce texture (approximately 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low), stirring occasionally. If needed, add an additional 1/4 - 1/2 cup water part way through the cooking time. Serve warm or chilled.