Homemade applesauce could not get any simpler or more delicious. Haul out the slow cooker!
Like a lot of Michiganders, fall is my favorite season. This year, in September I became downright impatient (and honestly a little bit of a baby) whining to my husband whenever we worked in the yard, walked the dog on the pier, or took long bikes, “Is it EVER going to cool down?” I must admit, I’m happiest when the outdoor temperature is a cool and comfortable 50 degrees, and when I can take a break from yard clean up, duck inside the kitchen, and grab a Garden Sloppy Joe (soon to be a blog post) and a ladle or two of this out-of-this-world Slow-Cooker Cinnamon-Vanilla Applesauce.
I realize quite a few readers are already thinking, “What a waste! She used HONEYCRISPS? Yep, that’s right – HONEYCRISPS. And before you question my choice even one millisecond more, I urge you to make this recipe and see for yourself. The sweetish-tartish Honeycrisps, combined with a generous shake of Vietnamese cinnamon, a scraping of fresh vanilla bean, and just the right-size pinch of cardamom and ginger will send your taste buds on an “I’ll never buy jarred applesauce again,” journey that I promise will be hard to forget.
This applesauce is….
- A texture mouth bomb: smooth and chunky at the same time
- Versatile! Eat it as a side dish, snack or dessert, use it as an oatmeal or ice cream topper, stir into yogurt, add to pancake or muffin batter, mix into a smoothie… and more.
- If you don’t have cardamom leave it out. The applesauce will still be good!
- If you don’t have cinnamon sticks add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon when you add the cardamom and ginger.
- Test for doneness. Depending on the size of your apples, and on how small you cut the chunks your applesauce might be too your liking a little earlier, or a little later. Keep checking and stirring. Once it gets to the texture you like – it’s done! Then it’s time to add the vanilla and the spices.
- Freeze any extras. This applesauce freezes beautifully in airtight containers and will keep up to six months.
Are the leaves turning color in your neighborhood yet? Can you smell fall? Haul out your crockpot! It’s time to make this Slow-Cooker Cinnamon-Vanilla Applesauce – today.
Peace, love and good eats; from our empty nest to yours.
Mr. ENs Take on This Recipe: “Love it! Far exceeds the jar, any day.”
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Vanilla Applesauce
Yield 6 servings
- 8 medium Honeycrisp apples
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 4-6 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks or 1-1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ¾ teaspoon ginger
- 1 vanilla bean (seeds scraped from pod) or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Peel, core, and slice the apples.
- Place them in the slow cooker.
- Add the lemon juice, brown sugar, apple cider, salt, and cinnamon sticks (if using instead of ground cinnamon).
- Set slow cooker to low and cook for 3-6 hours.
- Stir apples occasionally; apples will slowly turn into “sauce”. Keep checking (and stirring) for the consistency you want. It may be cooked to your liking anywhere between 3 and 6 hours.
- When the sauce is the texture you prefer remove the cinnamon sticks and stir in the cardamom, ginger and vanilla bean or vanilla extract. If using ground cinnamon add it now.
- Turn off the slow cooker and use an immersion blender to blend (if you like smooth applesauce) or a wooden spoon to mix well (if you prefer to leave it chunky).
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrates 35 g
Dietary Fiber 7 g
Sugars 200 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.