Okay, raise your hand if you have ever been apple-picking or have wanted to go? Yeah, me too.
I remember one year before we had children, SPH and I, along with a big group of friends drove out to the country to go apple picking. It was the quintessential autumn day, and we left with lots of tasty apples, way more than we needed.
Enter this year my friend Camille. Camille is an amazing cook and gardener. Her recipes and kitchen creations are amazing, and each time I see her it seems she has finished some sort of neat kitchen project like canning homemade blackberry jam, creating homemade apple butter or the like.
Camille is not only a kitchen whiz, she is extraordinarily giving. When G was in the hospital a year ago February, she called to say, "I am bringing you dinner." Imagine how good the homemade chicken noodle soup tasted (with whole wheat noodles--you go, Camille!) when we came home from the hospital on that cold snowy night.
Well, Camille's latest act of generosity was to share a load of McIntosh Apples she picked from her very own tree:(I just had to share this picture...I love that there were still leaves on many of the apple stems!)
This week was busy, so instead of making something more elaborate, I made applesauce...in the slow cooker. It turned out A-MAZ-ING. I am not sure my jar of store-bought applesauce will be eaten any time soon since the taste pales in comparison.
I read that using the slow cooker for applesauce is perfect because it cooks apples low and slow. I did a twist on traditional applesauce and used maple syrup instead of regular sugar. This recipe turned out great, the boys helped me pour all the ingredients in the slow cooker and they cooked overnight. What a great warm addition to our breakfast this morning!
Maple Cinnamon Applesauce
12 McIntosh Apples (you can use any variety you like, but if you use a more tart variety, you may need to add a bit more sugar at the end)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Peel and core the apples, and then cut into quarters. As you prepare each apple, place it in the slow cooker with the lemon juice and stir to coat each apple in the juice.
Add the remaining ingredients: water, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, high 4-5 hours.
While the apples are still warm, use a potato masher or pastry blender to mash:
If you prefer a smoother applesauce, you can use a food processor or food mill instead. But we opted for the chunkier version which was divine.
The best part? Well, the way it tastes. Second best? Our whole house smells of autumn, apples and cinnamon.
Happy Weekend All-