Happy First Day of Fall!
In my opinion, fall couldn’t come soon enough. This summer was HOT, which made running pretty miserable at times and made other outdoor activities sound not-so-attractive. Drenched in sweat after a stroll in the neighborhood? No thanks. Though I love the bounty of summer’s produce, my favorite seasonal flavors are from the fall. Pumpkin. Apple. Squash. Cranberry. Yum.
Even though I’ve been graduated for three years now (!), fall takes me back to my alma mater, with pretty leaves on the trees, homecoming festivities, and cross country races. Oh, how I miss Wittenberg, dear Wittenberg!
I’m learning to love fall on my new campus, Indiana University. I love walking in the midst of these grand old limestone-and-brick buildings with a chill in the air and leaves crunching beneath my feet. Fall weather, whether it comes in the first week of the semester or the sixth, just screams academics to me. Does this resonate with anyone else? I just love the line in You’ve Got Mail about this:
“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has it’s charm.”
Last fall, Ben and I even got to partake in a classic fall ritual–apple picking! It was really fun, and we came back with dozens of apples–a whole peck, I do believe.
We made many an apple recipe last fall, and since I wasn’t blogging then, I haven’t shared them yet!
In honor of the first day of fall, I made this applesauce last night to celebrate. Since it’s a crock pot recipe, made is a loose term. After getting home, I quickly enlisted Ben’s sous-chef skills and hopped to it!
Crock Pot Chunky Applesauce
- 8 apples, cored, peeled, chopped [I used 3 Gala apples and 5 Granny Smiths, but feel free to use whatever you like/have on hand.] – about 8-9 cups
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Prepare apples, and don’t feel like you have to peel all the skin off–we like a little left on for texture! Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Stir well, then cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Resist the temptation to open the lid! It adds cooking time if you do that because the air escapes. [Ask me how I know… :)] When it has finished cooking, use a potato masher to mash apples to desired texture. Eat and enjoy!
If you don’t have a crock pot, I’m sure you can make this recipe on the stove, too, but I haven’t tried that. If you do, let me know how it goes! Also, this recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled, depending on the size of your crock pot. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar based on the sweetness of your apples too. Or the seasonings too. Or add pears. That’s yummy also. Basically, this is a very versatile recipe. Do with it what you like!