Vanilla Honeycrisp Applesauce
First off, welcome to my new website! I hope you have a look around and let me know what you think!
I thought I would start things off over here with something easy, sweet, and very fall appropriate (can I still say Fall? It's still November, so that counts, right?). This Vanilla Honeycrisp Applesauce certainly fits the bill.
I wasn't that familiar with Honeycrisp apples before I moved to Michigan, but they're a specialty here. They're firm, juicy, wonderfully sweet and mildly tart, and as the name says, crisp. Normally, I love just eating these as is. But my husband and I made a visit to a local cider mill and orchard recently and as I was perusing the selection of apple products - pies and cakes and caramel covered and cider by the gallon - but there was no applesauce. And doesn't it always work out that when DON'T see something, you automatically want it? It did for me. So instead I picked up half a peck of Honeycrisp apples and took them home to experiment. It just happened to work out that we had also recently purchased a new slow cooker (ours finally having kicked the bucket), so I thought I would just peel the apples, toss them in, and see what happens. While I was putting the apples in the crockpot I noticed something on the counter - my bottle of homemade vanilla extract (post coming on this). It was an impulse, but I grabbed it and poured a generous shot in with the apples.
Oh my. I am SO GLAD I did. The sweet and tartness of the apples combined with the rich vanilla was absolutely incredible. This applesauce is super easy to make - really all you need is a peeler, a slow cooker, and a spoon. I hope you love this delicious Michigan favorite.
- One half peck (roughly 12-14 apples) Honeycrisp apples
- Two tablespoons pure vanilla
Now, I mentioned having a peeler in the above. I happen to own a stand alone apple peeler (pictured below) but this is NOT a requirement. You can get the same results with a typical potato or vegetable peeler.
That being said, these things are a great investment. They peel and core the apple for you in a flash - and you can use it for potatoes and other fruits and veggies, too. I love having it around when it is pie baking time.
- Wash, peel, and core your apples. Make sure you don't get any of the seeds in there - they're impossible to chew and they're incredibly bitter. Tiny bits of skin aren't going to matter, they will turn into soft mush with the apples. You'll never notice.
- Slice your apples into relatively even pieces. The shape honestly doesn't matter - they cook down all the same regardless of the shape. The size is what matters - you want them to cook evenly
- Place the apples into the slow cooker and pour your vanilla over the apples
- Turn on low and cook for three hours. Take the lid off and stir the apples. They will literally start falling apart. You don't need to mix roughly. Replace the lid and cook for another 1.5 hours, or until it reaches desired consistency. It's okay if you would like it a little chunky - leave some pieces in there! Or keep stirring until you're left with smooth, delicious applesauce.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, or it stays really nice in the freezer. If you're a canner like I am, put the applesauce into jars with either lemon juice or fruit preserving powder and give it a steam bath for one hour.