Monday, November 22, 2010

Comfort Food: Cinnamon Cranberry Applesauce

One of my favorite comfort foods this season has been homemade applesauce, cooked up in my crockpot. It's easy. It's healthy. It fills my home with lovely autumnal aromas while cooking. And it's inexpensive, but feels fancy and tastes rich; in fact, we usually have it for dessert. It's also open to endless variations of spices and mix-ins. Here's the recipe for my favorite version:

Slow-Cooker Cinnamon Cranberry Applesauce

5-6 apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
1 Tb lemon juice
1/4 C water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or a bit more, if you really like cinnamon, like I do)
1 Tb brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. (Recipe could be easily doubled for a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker, or halved for a 1.5 or 2 quart slow cooker). Put the apples in the crock. Add the lemon juice, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Give it all a stir.
Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. The apples are done cooking when tender enough to mash up with a fork. Do that, and then stir in the dried cranberries. Let cook for another half hour or so to allow the cranberries to plump up nicely. Serve warm (which I find most comforting) or cold, whichever you prefer. Serves 4-6.

Notes: The cranberries give this applesauce an extra texture element, and also a sweet-tart zing, which I really like. Depending on what kind of apples you use and your own tastes, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar used.

1 comment:

sinceaustin said...

Thanks for this recipe Suz! I made it yesterday as one of our T-day covered dishes...and everyone loved it! Clay has started referring to it as "Crapplesauce," which I didn't think was maybe the best name, but I thought I'd pass it along just in case you're looking for a catchy title.