Friday, October 5, 2012

Feeling a Bit Saucy?

Why did I not realize sooner that I could make applesauce in my slow cooker? Mia came home from school so excited last week because her teacher took the apple she had brought in, along with all the others, and made applesauce right in the classroom using her Crock Pot. When she had told me she needed an apple for this activity, I wondered how in the world Mrs. Myers was going to do that without using a stove top and now I know. Since last Friday when I learned about this, I have made applesauce in the Crock Pot twice, with mixed results.

The first time, I used this recipe and modified it somewhat. Instead of 10 apples, I used 4 large Gala and 3 medium Granny Smith apples. This filled the slow cooker about 2/3 of the way. I also used less than 1/3 cup of sugar instead of the 1/2 - 1 cup that the recipe calls for. (That really sounds like a LOT to me.) The only problem was that I left the peels on (I seemed to remember doing this before, but maybe I am confused?) and they fell off and left the applesauce with a weird texture, so that Mia and I were the only ones who would really eat it. I wonder if putting it in the food processor would have solved that issue, but I never bothered to try. The taste was great, but that doesn't matter if people won't eat it.

{This first batch looked so very pretty before it cooked, and I was feeling optimistic that it would be a success. I guess looks can be deceiving, eh? I didn't take an "after" photo because of the apple peel texture making it look not so appetizing.}

Not to be discouraged, I tried again today. I was positive that slow cooker applesauce was a brilliant idea and I just had to fine-tune the details. My second batch was based off of this recipe. I used Gala apples along with Granny Smith again (and possibly a Honeycrisp may have been thrown in; I can't remember for sure). I changed the recipe slightly by using only 1/8 cup sugar in place of 1/2 cup and I skipped the cinnamon altogether since Logan seemed averse to it. This batch cooked on high for 3 hours before I mashed it (very, very easily) with my potato masher. I wish I knew how he felt about the changes, but he went to bed early without even tasting it. It definitely isn't too sweet, and Mia asked for seconds and thirds, so I know she enjoyed it. The kitchen smelled nice (although it would have been just heavenly if I had added the cinnamon), and overall, this was a success. I will most definitely be making more slow cooker applesauce, but I think next time around, I will use apple cider in place of water like I have done in the past when I make my applesauce on the stove top. Yummy! I love fall in the Mitten State (even though my apples are coming from elsewhere this year).

{I filled my slow cooker about 3/4 of the way for batch #2.}

{Looks good, doesn't it? This is definitely one of my favorite fall flavors!}

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