Saturday, October 8, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Slow Cooked Applesauce, breakfast and dessert versions

Recently, I mentioned Ben's quirky love of kitchen gadgets. Most of these didn't cost us much (cause they were gifts), and our slow cooker was actually FREE. Ben won me the below pictured crock pot when we were playing arcade games at Hershey Park (okay, so maybe it wasn't free, it probably cost my mom a dollar in arcade coins).  His winning was hysterical. He was playing one of those games where you have to knock all the change out off the machine.  Well, he put in one quarter and all the sudden, hundreds of coins came crashing down. It was so loud and crazy he honestly thought he broke the machine. The crock pot box was extra dusty (as I'm sure it had been sitting up there for years) but it was pretty much the grand prize. How random is that, an arcade's highest ticket prize is a crock pot? We were pretty happy it was there, arcade toys aren't really the greatest when you're nearly 30.

Okay, on to the recipe. I own no canning supplies (it's the kitchen gadget currently on our gift list), but I really wanted to turn some of our neighbors apples into applesauce for Reid.  After inquiring how I might do so on facebook, a friend told me to google slow cooker recipes. I found one that had about 400, 5 star review, and 50 or so 4 stars. I made it twice, once with almost all the sugar called for and once with less than half. In the end, I found two YUMMY recipes, that are so easy you'll feel lazy making them. 

Desert Applesauce:
8 medium/large apples, rinsed, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup brown sugar

Place the apples and the water in a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker and cook for 5 to 6 hours on low heat.  Stir in the pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar and cook for 30 more mins. 

Serve hot over ice cream.  Leftovers can be frozen and used as crepe filling (or for more ice cream sundaes).

Breakfast Applesauce:
Follow the above recipe, but only add 2 tablespoons brown sugar.  

Serve warm or cold as a breakfast side dish, or add a 1/4 cup applesauce to a bowl of warm oatmeal, for yummy oatmeal flavor your kids are sure to love.  Again, leftovers can be frozen.

Yields about 6 cups

Reid's breakfast applesauce, ready to go in the freezer for food storage.

In case you are curious, the simple act of stirring in the sugar and pie spice is what "mushes" the apples into applesauce. If you want chunkier sauce stir around 5 hours, for a smoother sauce stir around 6 hours. I wouldn't recommend subbing the pie spice for cinnamon. Pumpkin pie spice isn't actually pumpkin flavoring, it's the perfect blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice. The desert recipe really is so yummy (surprise, I prefer the one with 2/3 cup brown sugar!) but the breakfast one is nice and healthy.

Make them both! 


Tiff said...

I'll be making this next week. I can't wait!

Jodi said...

I'm glad it worked out! Looks yummy, and I must try this :).

tamikate said...

Liz, after reading this I made a batch... OH MY YUMMY! I am going to make a LARGE batch tomorrow! THANKS for sharing.

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