Preserve the flavor of fall with this Slow Cooked Apple Sauce. The addition of spices brings up memories of the flavor of apple pie.
Let me warn you right here: There is lots of serious baby gushing ahead. Please indulge a very proud mommy for this one post or skip right ahead to the recipe.
Times with our baby girl Olivia are extra special these days. It seems like she is learning something new and reaching new milestones every few days.
We were thrilled to hear her laugh out loud for the first time a few weeks ago. Now she is constantly babbling either with us - but much rather with the ceiling lights. She is growing like a weed. At the last check-up she was in the 98th percentile lengthwise. No wonder she is always one clothing size ahead of her age.
Leaning back in her bouncer or car seat is a big no-no. She would much rather sit up in them (although sitting up on the floor only lasts for a few seconds). During tummy time she even starts to army crawl, but it will often result in face plants. It's so funny to think that we all went through these phases at some point. Seeing Olivia do it herself is so much fun.
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Olivia also loves to sing herself to sleep now, usually while in the car. And when Konrad is listening to his favorite tunes, she will be cooing and aahhing along right with him. She has also discovered her feet. She loves to suck on her toes or just hang out in "Happy Baby" yoga position.
These yoga exercises led to a big milestone last Friday. I was changing her on the floor and had to get up to get a new diaper. When I came back Olivia had suddenly turned herself from her back to her tummy. That first back-to-front flip was followed by many more and now I can barely keep her on her back for a few seconds. I'm beginning to taste what it will be like when she becomes mobile on her hands and knees, feet, etc.
It is quite amazing how in less than 5 months she has developed from complete helplessness to being well on her way to independence. Aahhh...I am scared to blink. At this rate she will be off to college at the end of the month.
Olivia Inspired Me With Her Love For Apples
Another new discovery are foods beyond milk. We haven't officially introduced solids (we are considering BLW) but she shows great interest in what we are eating. She has had tiny bits of soft foods here and there and licks of less than soft food items. Many of these will bring out her funniest facial expressions - mainly as a sign of disapproval.
But there has been one definitely winner in the flavor category... Apples! Grandma let Olivia lick on an apple and baby girl couldn't get enough. She loved sucking out the juice. So here is to hoping that soon she might enjoy some of this slow cooked apple sauce as well.
I love the "set-and-forget" aspect of this recipe. And stirring is only really necessary at one point in the process. Similar to my plum butter, I added spices to this apple sauce that remind one of apple pie flavors.
I am just not ready to let go of fall, considering it is so short here in Calgary.
Slow Cooked Apple Sauce
- 6 apples peeled, cored and diced or sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- maple syrup to taste
For an optional apple pie flavor:
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon or add 1 cinnamon stick while cooking
- allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom sprinkle of each
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice mix optional to the mix above; this will have a similar effect as above spice mix
- Place the apple slices/dices in your slow cooker. Drizzle with lemon juice, add salt and optional cinnamon (stick) and spices.
- Turn the slow cooker on high and cook for 4 hours. Stir occasionally. At the 3 hour mark stir and taste your apple sauce. Depending on taste and the apple variety you use, you may want to add some sweetener. Start with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and add more to taste.
- Also depending on the apple variety used, the apple sauce may seem dry after 3 hours. Add a couple tablespoons of water or orange juice and cook for another hour.
- For a super smooth texture you can blend the finished apple sauce with an immersion blender. For a medium texture mash with a potato masher.
- If you want to can the apple sauce, fill it into sterilized mason jars. Otherwise it will also keep for a few weeks in the fridge.
Save the apple peels to use in smoothies.
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
Check out these similar recipes!
- Apple Pie Breakfast Cookies - Video
- Whole Wheat Apple Pie Pancakes
- Rustic Apple Maple Galette
- Peanut Butter Apple Pie
Adding spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves can enhance the flavor of apple sauce. You can also experiment with different types of apples to create a unique and complex taste.
Homemade applesauce can become watery if the apples contain too much moisture or if they are overcooked. To avoid this, you can use firmer apples and cook them until they are just tender.
Applesauce may not turn brown if you add lemon juice or ascorbic acid to it. These ingredients help prevent enzymatic browning, which occurs when the apples are exposed to oxygen.
It is not advisable to leave homemade applesauce out overnight as it can promote bacterial growth and spoilage. It is best to refrigerate it within a couple of hours of making it to ensure its freshness and safety.