Peel, core, and chop your apples into large pieces. I cut my medium-sized apples into eighths. It is fine to throw in some extra apples if you wish, this is an extremely flexible recipe.
Put the prepared apples in your slow cooker. Tuck in the cinnamon stick. Pour the water over the top.
Cover the slow cooker and set it on low. Let the apples cook for 6-8 hours, giving it a good stir every 2-3 hours to prevent the apples from sticking to the pot. The apples will fall apart on their own, no mashing necessary! If your particular variety of apples does not seem to be breaking down, don't be afraid to crank your slow cooker up to the high setting for a couple of hours to get the process going.
The applesauce shown in the photos was cooked for 6 hours. Longer cooking times result in a thicker, sweeter, and darker-colored applesauce, similar to apple butter.
This recipe makes 2½-3 cups of applesauce, depending on how large you chop the apples and how long you cook them. Remove the cinnamon stick prior to serving warm or chilled.