Is there anything better than the fragrance of apples on a crisp, fall day? Nothing says fall more to me than all things apple. I remember over-doing it many times with the fresh apple cider when I was a kid.
When my mom made applesauce, I remember her cooking it on the stovetop, then using a food mill to puree the apples into a creamy sauce. These days, I prefer a chunky applesauce. And I leave the peel on. But feel free to peel your apples if you prefer.
Also, my mom never added cinnamon when cooking the apples. But I love cinnamon, and I was feeling like a rebel so I added it. YUM!
This is more of a tutorial (sans pictures - sorry!) than a recipe. I use my 6-qt slow cooker for this.
Cut up enough apples to fill your slow cooker about 2/3 full. Depends on the size of your apples how many this will be. I try to use a variety of apples. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will cook down.
As you are cutting the apples, toss them with a bit of lemon juice, up to 1 Tbs. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup water. Sprinkle about 3 Tbs brown sugar over the apples. Then add 1-2 tsp cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract. If you are really daring, also add a dash of ground cloves.
Stir all around so the apples are coated. Cook on High for 3-4 hours, stirring once every hour. The apples on the bottom will cook faster, so stirring will ensure more even cooking.
Once the apples have reached a desired consistency, turn slow cooker off. Use an immersion blender (a boat motor as Emeril calls it) to puree apples to desired chunkiness. Or use the back of a slotted spoon if your immersion blender starts making weird noises or konks out altogether. (Guess what's on my Christmas list.)
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Easy-peasy, lemon squeezie. Yummy applesauce goodness from my kitchen to yours!