Every year we go to the apple orchard and pick apples and every year applesauce is one of the first things the girls request that I make. After making a few batches this year of the usual smooth applesauce, chunky applesauce, cinnamon applesauce, and caramel applesauce using dates (instead of making a ginger applesauce I usually make) I decided to have a little fun and add a pumpkin to it to make Pumpkin Pie Applesauce! I like my apple sauce thick, some in the family like it thin so I make multiple batches. Besides eating it as is I have been enjoying this Pumpkin Pie Applesauce with oatmeal, on top of waffles and pancakes, with yogurt, and sprinkled with a little granola! I was hoping to put some in the freezer for later but it vanished so quick before I got a chance to so I think I need to make another batch. Which I am not complaining about because it is so easy to make and my house smells amazing while it is cooking!
Pumpkin Pie Applesauce
Makes about 8 cups
2 1/2-3lb pie pumpkin
3lbs apples, to see what apples work best for apple sauce check this list (used a mix of Gala and a couple others we picked tart and sweet mixed)
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
3-6 TBSP coconut palm sugar, depending on how sweet you want it and how sweet your apples are (used 3-4 TBSP in this batch)*
1/2c water or apple cider/apple juice, or 1c if you like it thinner or are going to blend it smooth (used 1/2c water in this batch)
* Made another batch and used a few tablespoons of date paste, which is another great whole food option if you don’t want to use sugar.
Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds, seeds can be saved to roast for a delicious healthy snack. Cut pumpkin halves into 4-6 wedges each and remove skin with a sharp knife as you would to remove the skin of a cantaloupe. It works best to use smaller wedges but be very careful and make sure your pumpkin isn’t wet and slippery. Cut wedges into small chunks and place in a large crock pot. Peel, core, and slice apples and add them to the crock pot mixing with the pumpkin chunks. Add water, spices, and start with 3 tablespoons of coconut palm sugar, you can always add more later. If you like sweeter you can start with more. Place lid on the crock pot and cook on low for 5 hours stirring a couple times while cooking. I have also left it without stirring and it is fine but I usually can’t stay away from it and stirring it give me a reason to open it up and smell it and mix the flavors around. If you want it chunky, like shown, I just mash it up with a wooden spoon when it is done cooking leaving chunks. You can also make it smooth using a Vitamix, blender, or food processor you will need to break it up and blend it in a couple batches. Store applesauce in jars or airtight leak proof containers once in the refrigerator, or freezer for longer storage pulling it out as needed. Enjoy!