An apple tasting, one early autumn, many moons ago comes to mind….
While living in Los Angeles, after years in a kitchen and being burnt to a crisp on the food scene. I was lucky enough to find employment as a personal assistant, with a wonderful food writer, Amelia Saltsman. During the years that I worked for Amelia my love and passion for food slowly rekindled. The last big project we worked on together was the beginning stages of her book ” The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook.” Which BTW is a must read, besides being a fabulous writer, Amelia’s recipes and techniques are top notch. I have been cooking for a long time and I go back to her book again and again.
Back to apples…we tasted, baked, sauteed, and categorized the apples she found at the local farmers market. I had to refer back to her cookbook to see if we had any Gravensteins in that tasting. Nope…we did not…
Here in Sonoma County it is almost a mandate that you purchase your local Grav’s (as they are called by the natives). On our visit to Walker Apples in Graton last week we purchased half a bushel, which is about twenty pounds…a LOT of apples. My favorite thing in the whole world of jams and jellies is Apple Butter. Not sure why the word butter is in there, because there is none added…maybe it is too describe the buttery and smooth consistency and “comfort food-esque” feeling that it gives you when it crosses your palate and lands in your happy tummy! Can you feel it…so I started out to make Apple Butter and ended up making applesauce…
My mother has an apple butter recipe that she makes in the crock pot, I decided to make a version of her recipe. My plan was to actually cook the apples for about two days on low in the slow cooker…no sugar added and spices added at the end. After twelve hours my husband started to have “apple smell overwhelm”. I really do not think you could have a better smell permeating the house…well he thought differently…so my plan for two day apple butter, morphed into twenty-four hour apple sauce. Sometimes the best laid plans with a u-turn delivers you a surprise result…and that is what we got!
24 Hour Crock Pot Gravenstein Applesauce
Gravenstein Apples, cored and quartered
Cinnamon to taste
Fill crock pot with cored and quartered apples. You can peel if you like, I did not peel mine, the peels actually add a lot of flavor. Turn the crock pot on low. Put the lid on. I let mine go for about 7 hours at this point, stirring occasionally.
The apples will be completely cooked down at this point. You can run the mixture through a food mill to separate out the skins or puree in batches in a mixer, be careful as this will be very hot. I actually used my hand wand mixer and pureed right in the crock pot. I added a squeeze of lemon and some sprinkles of cinnamon to taste.
I did can this, which is very easy to do. If you have no experience canning, I suggest getting a good book on the subject and following the instructions. A good book to start out with might be the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
Now you are thinking to yourself…maybe out loud…because I think I can hear you…Whoa…sister…what about that picture at the top of the page…Yes, there is that, did I forget to mention that? Silly me…
Last night I was feeling LAZY…all capitals. So I made my children French toast for dinner! I used Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread and instead of syrup we topped it with a little dab of butter, a sprinkling of powdered sugar and a scoop of delicious Walker Applesauce…
Life’s short Eat Dessert for Dinner!