I think the pick-your-own fruit people probably laugh their asses off over dinner at eager locavores like me who, so excited by the prospect of fresh, not-from-the-truck fruit, don't understand just exactly how many apples are in a half-bushel (or how many blueberries are in a ten-pound box, but that's fodder for another post). I think the actual number is 8 bajillion.
How to whittle away a mountain of apples? Yup -- applesauce.
Easiest way to make applesauce? Yup -- crock pot.
As an aside, I just read somewhere that an easy way to core halved apples is to use a melon baller. This is fantastic! (If you already knew about this trick, keep it to yourself and don't rain on my parade.) The only advice I would give is not to try it on 10 pounds of apples using a dollar-store-quality melon baller. See photo.
Variety of apples (I used Macintosh, Cortland and Honeycrisp)
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Cinnamon stick (optional)
Peel, core and quarter apples (if you have very large apples, as I did, you can quarter each half instead). Fill your crockpot with 'em -- all the way to the top is fine, as they cook way down. Add lemon juice and toss to coat the apples. Add cinnamon stick, if using. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours (it's OK to open the lid and check the consistency at 5 hours). If you don't like the slightly rustic, chunky consistency, you can blend the applesauce in the crockpot with an immersion blender.
Note: I don't sweeten my applesauce so that I can use it for baking, but you can always add some sugar to taste at the end of the cooking cycle, if you wish.
Another note: This freezes very well.