We went apple picking yesterday! This is one of my favorite fall traditions. Dave and I have been going apple picking once a year since we got married, so this is our third year. It’s really exciting to be settling into a yearly tradition in my still fairly new family.
Orchards in fall are some of the prettiest places you can visit. The beautiful rows of trees ripe with juicy apples, the families all bundled up and roaming the grassy lanes, the kettle corn and apple cider stands with lines of kids waiting to taste all the yummy fall-time treats – it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss.
All the best apples are at the top. It pays to have a tall husband!
We picked for a few hours, enjoyed people-watching while we sipped hot apple cider and headed home with 25 pounds of apples. While we were making our way down seemingly endless rows of apple trees, my mind was popping with ideas of what to make with all that fruit! I was dreaming of pies, cakes, muffins, tarts, butters, breads and sauces. Needless to say, I was starving by the time we left. When we got home, I had resolved to kick off the apple recipes with something healthy. We’ve been treating ourselves a little more frequently than we probably should and I knew a simple, tasty and healthy apple dish would be a welcome break from our recent sweets spree. The dish: vanilla spice applesauce.
I found a great basic recipe for applesauce on allrecipes.com and decided to tweak it a bit with some vanilla bean paste and brown sugar. The result is absolutely delicious! The best part of this recipe – it only takes about 30 minutes start to finish. Grab 4 apples, and get ready to make some sauce!
Vanilla Spice Applesauce
Adapted from allrecipes.com
Makes 4 servings (134 calories per serving)
4 gold rush apples (or any sweet/tart crispy apple – you can mix apples for even more flavor!)
3/4 cups of water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
Peel, core and slice your apples. I like to use this because it peels, cores and slices all at once. This little gadget is a must-have for anyone who loves to cook or bake with apples! If you cut by hand, make sure the slices are fairly thin so that they cook through easily. I like to quarter them once they’re sliced just to break up the pieces a little bit more.
Put the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean paste and water into a saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat, cover and let it cook for 15-20 minutes until the apples are soft.
Remove from heat and let the sauce rest for a few minutes before mashing. You can either mash with a potato masher, or you can just stir if you want a more rustic and chunky sauce (my personal favorite!).
What’s your favorite apple recipe?
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