My weekdays often begin at 5 am with a trip to the gym before heading into the office. It’s a routine that began in early February when I realized my exercise routine was much more productive before the rooster crows. Often times I have the gym all to myself.
One side effect of my early morning habit is difficultly sleeping in on the weekends. That was the case this past Saturday when, sure enough, I was wide awake and ready to start my day well before the sun cracked the horizon. I decided to make the most of the time, instead of forcing myself deeper under the covers, by peeling a large bag of apples for applesauce.
A few hours later, the house smelled like ground cinnamon and nutmeg – like fall. The kitchen began to fill with the morning rays, signaling it was definitely time for breakfast. So I popped a couple of whole-grain waffles in the toaster, scooped a heaping spoonful of my apple concoction on top and dug in. Pure bliss.
Slow Cooker Applesauce
18 assorted apples
3 Tbl. lemon juice
3 Tbl. ground cinnamon
1 Tbl. ground nutmeg
1/2 Tbl. ground allspice
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
Peel, core and chop the apples into one-inch cubes. Place in a large mixing bowl. Toss with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until the apples are evenly coated.
Pour the mixture into a large slow cooker. I own an All Clad 6.5 quart. Cook on low for approximately six hours or on high for four. Avoid removing the lid during the cooking process.
When the apple mixture can be easily mashed, then it is done. Depending if it suits my mood, I use a potato masher for a chunkier texture. For this particular batch, I opted to use my immersion blender.
Allow the applesauce to cool, divide into manageable portions and store in the refrigerator. This recipe freezes beautifully as well.
Authors Note: I used a variety of apples including Jona Golds, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Gala, Macintash and Honeycrisp.