Did you ever see a recipe and just have an epiphany on how you can take it a step further? I saw this recipe for a Crockpot apple sauce and just imagined it being transformed into a dessert. Making it was extremely easy!!
I did tweak the recipe a bit since I knew I was taking it a step further.
1 peck (or small bag) of apples, cored but not peeled(I chose Cortlands but use your favorite pie apple)
1 lemon, squeeze out juice and discard the lemon
2T pure Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
(I DID have pictures showing how much it reduces but my camera seems to have hidden them from me.)
Place these all in the Crockpot/slow cooker and allow to cook for about 2 hours on high then 2 hours on low.
They will reduce dramatically! I went from a very full crock to about 6 cups of apple sauce. If you left the skins on you will have a deep caramel color instead of the tan but it adds a different dimension to the sauce. Most of the peel should have dissolved but you can run a fork through the sauce to pick out any skins that are left. Its purely aesthetics whether you leave them in or not.
OK–so you can stop here and just enjoy the sauce or take it to a dessert level.
Apple “Custard” Pie
Pie crust–you can use a favorite crust recipe if you have one or use a Pillsbury ready to go one. Roll it out to the size of your pan and prebake for about 5 minutes at 400*F just to keep it from getting soggy.
2 cups of the apple sauce (3 if using a deep dish pan)
1/2 cup evaporated milk (I used 2%), add just a little more if increasing apple sauce
2 large eggs
1 tsp apple pie spice (or combination of cinnamon/nutmeg) if desired.
Optional–taste your apple sauce first to see how sweet it is-I added 2 T Maple syrup just for a bit of flavor and sweetness but you can omit, add honey or sweetener of choice to taste.
Pour into pie shell. Bake at 400*F for about 15 minutes and then reduce it to 350*F for another 45-55 minutes. This will be a ‘soft set’ (not the consistency of pumpkin pie). Remove from oven, allow to cool and then refrigerate until totally cool.
Although it is pale don’t let the color fool you–there is a lot of flavor packed in it!
My next batch of apple sauce will be transformed into more of a souffle in individual ramekins or mini pies in graham cracker crusts…..we’ll see where it goes from there!