When fall gives you apples, you make applesauce! A trip to a farmer's market this weekend lead me to make my own at home with my slow cooker.
I can't believe I've never made it before. It's ridiculously easy. All I added was cinnamon, and some apple cider to keep it from sticking to my slow cooker, and it's so sweet and delicious. And I used Cortland apples, which are not overly sweet. I am frazzled as to why anyone would add sugar to this beauty. Anywho, I will post that quick and simple recipe below. Is it even a recipe? It's too easy to be called a recipe!
I've been feeling so inspired by this season. Pumpkins, apples, warm foods, aromatic spices... I'm really playing up the whole fall theme. These days I've been trying to step out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. I love to experiment with recipes, but making a crappy or less-than-perfect creation is enough to leave me feeling really crummy about my kitchen abilities.
I don't like to follow recipes. I just read up on things I'm not familiar with, or if I want ratios of ingredients, that kinda thing... then I take different ways of making any given food into account and create my own recipe based on my knowledge. For example, I want to make granola. I start looking at blogs I like, using Google, and snooping around anywhere else I can see a granola recipe. I then see what each ingredient "does" in the recipe, what needs to be in it, about how long/what temperature it needs to be baked at, etc. I then make a "healthified" version with ingredients I'm happy with.
I did do this for granola, actually. I was going for the fall theme, too. Apple spice! I was kinda cheap on the oil, though, and it wasn't very clustery. It was also a bit well-done. Still good, but not worthy of a post on this round.
Some things in life don't deserve cheapness. Can't be cheap with a bit of oil and maple syrup in granola. And you certainly shouldn't be cheap with sweetener in your pumpkin cornbread!
Oh yeah, I made some of that too. I used fresh pumpkin puree I'd made the same day, and farmer's market fife flour! I also added a magic ingredient of some soy yogurt. However, although the texture was on point, sweetness was missed.
Enter my applesauce. Smothered it on the bread, added PB2, never looked back.
Here is the recipe for the applesauce. I left the skins on my apples, because a) ain't nobody got time for peeling over 5 lbs of apples, and b) why toy with nature? Organic apple skins never did anybody wrong.
-5 lb bag of apples
-1/2 tbsp (or more, to taste) fresh cinnamon
-1/2 cup apple cider
Slice apples, removing the seeds and core. Put the apples in a slow cooker with the cinnamon and apple cider. Turn the slow cooker onto high and let cook for about 3 hours, stirring every hour. Throw your apples into a blender, and blend until silky smooth.
Note: I wanted to add a hint of lemon juice, but I was actually out of lemons, so I may add some when I get around to it. This will help maintain freshness a bit longer. Also, you may add whatever spices you like. I think ginger, cloves, nutmeg or a hint of maple syrup would be fun. You be the judge!
As for what kind of apples you like, it's up to you. Sweet ones will make a sweet sauce, tart will make tart. A mix will be the best of both worlds.