My almost two-year old is currently obsessed with apples. Which is great for a few reasons, mostly that apples are in-season and that they aren’t french fries. That kid would live off of french fries if we let her, we just returned from Disney and I swear the only things ate down there were french fries, grapes, and cheese. On the way home we gave her an apple and she seems to have a new-found love for her once favorite fruit. She ate the entire apple; core, seeds, and everything. When she was finished she handed my husband just the steam. Apparently that wasn’t as tasty as seeds. We were ecstatic that she added another fruit to her “acceptable” foods, and when we picked up our CSA on our way home we made sure to stock up on apples.
The only down side is apples are only good for so long on the counter, and even though she is having her “apple a day”, they were still starting to go bad faster than the three of us could eat them. So I decided to turn some of the apples into a fruity applesauce.
In the past I’ve been known to create fun and tasty applesauce varieties, I have a Peach Applesauce that is my mother-in-laws favorite, a Caramel Applesauce that is my husbands favorite, and a Spiced Applesauce that is my favorite. But this time I wanted to make an applesauce directed our daughters favorites. So I started with apples, added some white grape juice, pears, and an orange; making for a delicious fruity applesauce.
Now I’m sure you could make this applesauce on the stove, but it would take your attention. And as you may have guessed with an almost two-year old my time is often stretched thin. So for this particular recipe I used our crock pot.
The most time-consuming part of the entire process is pealing, coring, and cutting the apples and pears into chunks. The pears will smooth out the texture of your applesauce and add a slight layer of sweetness. I choose to do it at nap time, since that is the best time for me to get messy, but you could do in the morning if you wanted it to cook all day. PS this recipe leaves your house smelling amazing!
I decided to keep it simple with the spices, and only added a little. I feel like it is really easy to go overboard with the cinnamon for kids. I also added the juice of an orange (and cooked with half of the entire orange) to both help keep the apples from turning orange and to add a little sweetness. I was amazed at how sweet the applesauce turned out despite me not adding any sugar.
Once you allow the fruit and juice to cook on low for six to eight hours (depending how low your low setting is) or three hours on high you get to blend it all together. I literally just slowly dumped it all into my blender and used the “puree” setting until it was nice and smooth.
They you can store the applesauce in either airtight containers or in food pouches for your kids. They will be good for about a week/two weeks in the refrigerator or you can freeze them. I love freezing a few because then if I know we will be out of the day I can throw a few frozen ones in an insulated bag and they will still be nice and cold when we are ready to eat them!