Yay, fall! My favorite season is finally upon us; I can stop sweating and I can go apple-picking with my family! If you've never done this, the time is now. You get to eat lots of apples and do silly stuff like this:
Of course, when you pick apples you end up with lots and lots of them. Like, more than you'd ever need or want. But you're not going to waste any, are you? No, you're going to eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And you're still going to have way more than you want.
In order to make a significant dent in your pile, you've got to find a recipe that requires a large number of apples. I've got just such a recipe: applesauce.
And this applesauce, my friends, is about the easiest you're gonna find. Not only do you just throw everything in the slow cooker, but you don't even have to peel the dang apples! Keeping the skins on also makes this sauce super healthful, as most of the apples' nutrients are in their peels. Apples are not only popular with kids and adults alike, but they are also a good source of Vitamin C, fiber, and polyphenols.
yields: 5 1/2 - 6 cups
- about 15-20 small/medium apples (preferably organic), cored and quartered*
- juice of one lemon
- 1/4c orange juice
- 1-2T vanilla
- 1/2t cinnamon**
**I'm a believer that a little cinnamon goes a long way; this amount gives a nice hint of the spice but you should feel free to add more, if it floats your boat.
Fill the Crockpot with your apples, add the rest of your ingredients, and give it all a quick stir. Set it to cook on low for five to six hours. The smell of applesauce cooking away is fantastic; people pay good money for candles that don't smell half as good.
My apples were fully cooked at about five hours but I left them in for almost six hours; they get more of that gorgeous caramelized flavor and richer color the longer they cook. (Another bonus of keeping the skins on is that the sauce becomes a lovely berry hue).
|My hubby likes lots of extra cinnamon on his.|
OK, so you have all this luscious applesauce...now what? Some suggestions:
- freeze small batches for future use
- add to muffin and pancakes batters
- put in the custards when you make french toast or bread pudding
- stir into plain yogurt
- add a few spoonfuls to sweeten smoothies
- pack in individual containers to add to lunch boxes
- top with chopped walnuts, granola, and/or flax or chia seeds
- put a dollop on latkes (potato pancakes)
- serve alongside meats, such as roast pork
- share a jar with friends who didn't get to go apple picking!
|The color of your apples' skins will determine the hue of your sauce|
What's your favorite way to use loads of apples?
For some other recipes in our "Real Convenience Food" series check out: Asparagus and Pea Soup; Tomato, Cucumber & Onion Salad with Feta Cheese; and Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Soup with Asiago Cheese. And don't forget one of our most popular posts ever: our Foolproof Caramelized Onions, made in a Crockpot!