Sunday, January 12, 2014

Slow Cooked Cinnamon Apples

Make your house smell like hot apple pie ALL DAY. (And torture yourself because it won't be ready for hours.)

I'm getting increasingly slow cooker-obsessed lately. I especially love finding surprising things to use my Crockpot for. So today, I give you my first slow cooker dessert recipe: slow cooked cinnamon apples.

I have to admit, this was inspired by my recent trip to my hometown in Louisiana for Christmas, and a taste of the fried apples at Cracker Barrel. Contrary to what you might expect at a Cracker Barrel in Louisiana, these apples were not deep-fried; they were like apple pie filling. The real inspiration was that they used Golden Delicious apples and left the skins on! Turns out that apple variety has very tender skin. I HATE peeling things. See my cooking philosophy re: hatred for fussy recipes and my love for healthy cooking (most of an apple's fiber is in the skin).

When I got returned from Christmas, I whipped up this healthy Crockpot apple recipe that tastes like apple pie filling. It's so simple and versatile. It would make a lovely holiday side dish, healthy fruit snack, dessert, or breakfast. Serve warm or cold, plain, or with whipped cream, ice cream, or yogurt. You could even make a shortcut crumble by topping with granola!

I am such a fan of this simple recipe that I went out and bought this apple corer/slicer to make it even easier. That is really saying something, because I usually hate kitchen uni-taskers, but since I've been making this all the time, it's worth it! This brought the prep time down to five minutes.

Slow Cooked Cinnamon Apples
3 lbs (6-7) apples, cored and sliced (I like Golden Delicious because the skins are so tender you can leave them on. You can peel them if you must.)
1/4 cup Splenda or sweetener of choice
2 t cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 T lemon juice
1 t vanilla (optional)
shot of bourbon or brandy (optional; if you're feeling fancy)

Dump all ingredients in slow cooker; toss to distribute. Cook on high for 2 hours, or low for 6 hours, until apples are tender.

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