Have you been seeing little glimpses of fall in your neck of the woods yet? It started to feel like fall around here this weekend and, though the temperatures have increased during the week, the mornings are a little crisper and the smell of fall is here.
I took advantage of the beautiful weekend weather by burning fall candles and opening some windows to let the house breathe. Then I decided to put a bag of apples to use by making homemade applesauce. Yay for all the fall things!
This applesauce was everything I was hoping it would be and more! I held back on the sugar since I like applesauce that is lightly sweetened and wanted to use it for baking, in which case I don’t need it to be sweetened at all. A splash of vanilla, the use of brown sugar instead of white, and good-quality cinnamon really kicked this applesauce up a notch. Store-bought applesauce isn’t even in the same league, that’s for sure!
Side note: To make your applesauce extra pretty, store it in Weck jars. I have an unhealthy obsession with Weck jars. I found a new variety of shapes and sizes at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and seriously had to put them down and back away slowly. I know what I’m asking Santa for this year, though!
- 3 pounds tart apples, cored, peeled, and sliced into 8 slices
- 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon good quality ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup water
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Transfer apple slices to the bowl of a crock pot. Sprinkle apples with brown sugar and cinnamon and toss to combine. Add vanilla extract, water, and lemon juice and gently stir to distribute.
- Cook on high 2-3 hours or low 4-6 hours.
- When apples are cooked and tender, mash them using a potato masher. Alternatively, you could allow apples to cool and then transfer them to a blender or food processor and blend/process until the desired consistency is reached.
- After apples are mashed, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. I added a bit more cinnamon and an additional splash of vanilla to mine.
It’s best to hold back on the sugar until you have fully cooked and tasted your applesauce, as the natural sweetness of different apple varieties varies. As always, it’s easy to add additional sugar later, but there isn’t much you can do about over-sweetened applesauce.