Allergen Cooking · cooking · Gluten-Free · Plant Based Diet · Preserving

Foraging Apples – Handmade Applesauce and Apple Butter


Walker is a good helper. He listens and picks what is pointed out. But most of all, he fits under fences 😉 Hehheh….Which is needed for getting those apples on the other side, of empty homes. After we cleaned the tree, we walked over a few streets, to a tree whose apples had been offered to me to pick (love having a community online board to post on!). After loading up bags of apples, Walker and I plopped them into the stroller and headed off to pick blackberries a few more blocks away (we have been busy foraging).

Psssttt….guess what is coming up?


National Can-It-Forward Day! And they even have lots of fun stuff to host a canning party. How cool is that?


My inspiration for this applesauce came out of my copy of Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Awhile back I was at our local hardware store and was wandering the canning/preserving section (Yes, we have a real hardware store. With a massive canning section. Old school out in the boonies!), when I started reading the backs of various Ball products. One was Fruit-Fresh. I don’t normally pick up items like this, but I wanted to try it out. And see if there was a real difference. I would say that yes, it works. I have never had such gorgeous light colored applesauce! Yeah, slightly processed I know. But when Alistaire had a small bowl of it and was smiling at me, it was worth it.

PS: The best clearance bargain I have found over the years? One of these: Norpro Apple Master Parer, Slicer and Corer. If you are doing a lot of apples, get one. I never realized just how much time it would save me till I used one.




  • 12 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp Fruit-Fresh
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (about 4″ long)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar


Add apples, water, Fruit-Fresh and cinnamon sticks to a heavy pan, cook covered over medium until apples are falling apart. Mash if desired. Stir in sugar till dissolved.

Ladle into clean jars, leaving ½” headspace, seal. Refrigerate or freeze for long term storage.

Makes about 2 pints.


Slow Cooker Apple Butter


  • 6½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract


Toss apples with sugar through salt, add to slow cooker. Cook on low, covered, for 10 to 12 hours, stirring periodically.

Remove lid, stir in vanilla and cook uncovered for 2 hours, stirring often.

Let cool a bit, puree with an immersion blender until smooth.

Ladle into clean jars, leaving a ½ to 1″ headspace, seal tightly.

Store in refrigerator or freezer, for long term storage.

Makes 3 pints.


6 thoughts on “Foraging Apples – Handmade Applesauce and Apple Butter

  1. I keep saying I need to start canning! I did my own applesauce last year in the crock pot after our apple picking fun day and it was by far the best applesauce I’ve ever had. MUST try the apple butter now!

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