This is basically an Eating Well recipe with a few Linda touches.
3 lbs sturdy apples such as Granny Smith or Rome
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Peel apples and slice into 1/4-inch slices (you should have around 9 cups). Place apple slices in a 4-quart or large slow cooker or crock pot. Add the sugar and cinnamon; toss to coat well.
Place lid on cooker and cook until apples are very tender and almost translucent but not pureed for 2 to 2 1/2 hours on high or 4 to 4 1/2 hours on low. Stir in the vanilla.
Transfer apples to a bowl and allow to cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
To serve, place is serving dish and top with ice cream and/or chopped nuts, if desired.