It's time for this month's Secret Recipe Club! The Secret Recipe Club is a group of food bloggers who secretly make one of someone else's dishes and post them all on the same day at the same time. It's really fun, choosing a recipe to make, making the recipe, then reading about everyone else's recipes. It's a great way to "meet" other bloggers and check out some great blogs that you never knew about before.
This month I was assigned to Renee's Kitchen Adventures. Renee is a nurse-turned-stay-at-home-mom from Ohio. She has so many great recipes on her blog. I happened to have a surplus of pork in my freezer when I was perusing her recipe index, so I was interested in any pork and/or fall dishes. Renee did not disappoint! I found Crockpot Roasted Pork Loin with Onion Gravy, Mustard Pork Tenderloin with Maple Rosemary Glaze, and Pork Chops with Brandied Apples and Onions. Oh my goodness, so many yummy options! I still want to make every single one of those recipes, but I ended up going in a different direction when I saw her Crockpot Chunky Gingered Applesauce. I made applesauce in the slow cooker last year, but I lost the paper I wrote down my recipe on. Bummer. Renee's recipe really intrigued me because I love ginger and I thought it was such a genius idea to put it in applesauce. I couldn't wait to try it.
3 lbs. apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
½ tsp cinnamon
1½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup apple cider or water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
Place all ingredients into a 3 quart slow cooker. Stir well. Cover and cook on high for four hours. Remove lid and either lightly mash with a potato masher, leaving some chunks, or puree with a stick blender. If it seems too wet, leave the lid off for a while with the slow cooker set to high. Taste for seasoning, adding more sugar if desired. If the flavor seems a little dull, add the apple cider to brighten it up a bit.
Pour applesauce into a container with a lid and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes about 5 cups.
I changed a couple of things. I increased the amount of apples from 2 lbs. to 3 lbs., only because my bag of apples was 3 lbs. and I was too lazy to get out my scale to weigh 2 lbs. worth. I also increased the ginger and decreased the cinnamon. I was afraid the cinnamon would overpower the ginger. I love how Renee used vanilla; that was a great addition. I was out of apple cider when I made this, so I used water instead. I found the finished product was lacking a bit of acidity since I used water instead of cider, so I added a tsp of apple cider vinegar and that helped a lot. You probably won't need that if you use cider instead of water.
I loved how Renee served hers chunky, and I tried it that way and loved it, but I knew my kids wouldn't eat it that way. They aren't picky eaters in general; usually they are very adventurous, but for some reason, they won't eat chunky applesauce. So I did a quick zip with my stick blender.
I tasted this when it was warm from the slow cooker and found it to be a bit spicy! Maybe I increased the ginger too much. I was afraid my kids wouldn't like it. But I found that it was absolutely perfect after being refrigerated. The cold toned down the ginger just enough so that it was still noticeable, but the bite was significantly muted. Perfect.
My kids loved this! This will definitely be my go-to homemade applesauce recipe from now on. Thanks for a great recipe, Renee!
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