Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Maple Pumpkin Applesauce...in the Slow Cooker

Good evening everybody!  I had to go to Carson City today to deliver some product to The Chocolate Nugget.  I love that place.  If you are ever in the Reno/Carson area, you have to visit one of their two locations.  They have the best fudge.  Ever.  Today they had pumpkin fudge.  There is no chocolate involved in pumpkin fudge.  It has a fudgy texture, but it tastes like pumpkin pie.  I am going to work on my own recipe for it so I can enjoy it any time.  Once I get it figured out, I will post!  I will have to eat a lot of it to figure it out, but for you…..I will make that sacrifice.
Driving through Carson City, I found a Safeway.  I know that doesn’t sound exciting to most of you, but I don’t have a Safeway near me.  First, you have to understand that I love grocery stores.  They are my happy place.  So finding a nice, new Safeway really made my day.  I didn’t even need anything, but I still went in and took a little looksee.  Is it weird that a Safeway could excite me that much?
You know what else excites me?  Maple Pumpkin Applesauce.  Made in the slow cooker.  I love easy recipes like this.  I think you will too.  This applesauce is the best applesauce you will ever have.  I throw that around a lot, I know….but you will love this.  And doesn’t it make you want to wear a sweater and roll around in fall leaves?  No?  Just me?  Huh.
I used 10 smallish apples.  I am not going to tell you how much to use in cups, or pounds.  Telling you how many apples to use is so much easier.  If I told you in cups, you would have no idea how many apples to buy.  If I told you in pounds, you would have to know what the poundage would be after the apples were peeled and chopped.  So 10 apples it is!  I used a mix of red and green.  Use whatever you like.
I peeled my apples with an apple peeler.  I realize that most of you don’t have one of these.  A vegetable peeler works just as well.  I also chopped my apples into bite sized pieces.  The size doesn’t matter all that much because this gets mushed at the end.
Oh yeah, I also put some lemon juice on my apples to keep them from browning.  Just a bit.
I also used white sugar, brown sugar, the lemon juice, maple syrup, canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.  Ok, you caught me….I used lime juice.  It was what I had.
Above is a picture of the apples in the slow cooker.  Duuuuuh.
I added the sugars and the spice.  And everything nice.
Finally, I stirred in the maple syrup and pumpkin.  I know, it looks kind of gross right now.  Have faith.
Set your slow cooker for about 4 hours.  When I say your house will smell amazing as this cooks, please know that I am not exaggerating.  This will be the best your house has ever smelled.
After about 3 to 4 hours, all it needs is a mush with a potato masher and it is done!  I mush it up pretty well, but the consistency is up to you. 
FYI-this is a great baby food.  It isn’t a first food, but if your baby is ready for new textures and flavors….this is perfect.  Cut back on the sugar a bit if you want, or replace the white sugar with Agave Nectar.  Also, I know this will sound gross to adults, but you can mix this with plain cooked couscous and your baby will love it.  All sorts of new textures and flavors;)
Yum!  Pumpkins and apples go so well together, I think.  And with maple....Come on!  This applesauce was a hit in my house.  I think it would be in your house too!  It is a great change of pace from regular applesauce.  It can also be used in a lot of different ways.  You can add it to muffins, pies, etc.
You can also give it away as gifts!  However, you cannot safely can this in a water bath at home.  You have to tell the recipient to keep it in the fridge.  It will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but because of the ph level, it can’t be canned at home.  Not that you were planning on canning it;) 
Wouldn’t you love it if someone gave you a cute little gift of homemade goodness?  I would.  I can provide my address if need be;)
See y’all on Thursday!

Maple Pumpkin Applesauce

10 small apples, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup canned pumpkin

Pour lemon juice over peeled apples to prevent browning.

Place chopped apples in slow cooker.  Add white sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup and pumpkin.  Mix gently.

Cover and set slow cooker for 4 hours. 

After 4 hours, apples should be very soft.  With a potato masher, mash to desired consistency. 

Makes about 4 ½ cups.  Keep in refrigerator.

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