Around this time every year, I make some version of apple pie. It's a compulsion. In 2011 I made baked apples. In 2012 I made a fairly traditional apple pie (spiked with bourbon). And last year I made a cheesy topped apple pie, inspired by the show Pushing Daisies.
This year I made slow cooker apple pie.
The apples cook for about two hours, making them soft and easy to cut with a fork (but not too mushy). What do you do during those two hours while your apples cook? I don't know. Make dinner. Clean your house. Watch a movie. Call your grandma and catch up. Go for a walk with your dogs. Write a novella. Shop online.
I can't give you all the answers to life, guys. This is just a recipe for apple pie.
4 apples (any variety you prefer; I used Fuji, but another good option is Granny Smith)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons bourbon (or you can substitute with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 1/2 to 4 cups water
1 tablespoon corn starch
Cut the butter into a few cubes and place in your slow cooker on low. Let the butter melt while you prep the apples.
Peel the apples, remove the cores, and cut in half. I like to submerge the peeled apples in water as I work so they don't turn brown during the process. As you can see, I didn't quite get all the peel off, and that's fine. I used a vegetable peeler and apple corer to get my apples looking this way.
Once the apples are peeled and the butter has melted (or mostly melted), add the sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, and cinnamon, and give that a whisk so it all combines well. Add in the apples. Then pour in enough water so the apples are 2/3 submerged. The amount of water you need will vary based on your slow cooker size.
Cook on high for 2 hours. Once done, remove 1 cup of the liquid to a small pot and whisk in the tablespoon of cornstarch over high heat. Cook for a minute or two until the mixture thickens into a sauce.
Credits// Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with Stella of the Complete Collection.