Category Archives: Fruit

Stovetop Apple Cinnamon Butter

Stovetop Cinnamon Apple Butter @ NancyC

Last fall, I made some homemade applesauce. I thought it was so much better than store-bought. After making that, I decided I needed to try making homemade apple butter sometime. Several friends have given me homemade apple butter the last few years–it makes a wonderful food gift, especially around the holidays. I discovered you can make apple butter with the slow cooker or on the stovetop, and for my first try I decided to make a stovetop version.

This recipe is really easy and it’s weetened with honey and apple juice or apple cider. You basically just put all the ingredients in a large pot and let it cook on low for an hour, until the apples get all tender and mashable. Then you let the mixture cool a little and puree to a smoother consistency in a food processor or blender. I love the cinnamony taste and I think that homemade apple butter, like homemade applesauce, is so much better than any you can buy!

STOVETOP APPLE CINNAMON BUTTER by NancyC

Makes 3 3/4 cups

  • 8 cups peeled, cored, and chopped apples (about 8 medium, or 2 1/2 pounds)–I used Gala apples; if using organic apples, you can leave the skin on if you want
  • 2/3 cup apple juice or apple cider
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large pot or saucepan, combine chopped apples with the rest of the ingredients. Stir well, cover pot, and cook on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Let mixture cool for 15 minutes, then, in several batches, put mixture in blender and puree until smooth (be careful not to overfill your blender or food processor!).

Store in jars with tight-fitting lids or airtight food containers and refrigerate for up to one week.

This apple butter is great on toast, muffins, biscuits, and scones. You can stir it into plain or vanilla yogurt to flavor it up more, or layer it with yogurt and granola for a breakfast parfait.

Have you ever made your own homemade apple butter?

Sharing at Meal Plan MondayFiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck.

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Strawberry Fruit Dressing and Dip

Creamy Strawberry Fruit Dip @ NancyC

The weather feels very summery where I live, and when it’s warm outside, I tend to eat more fruit because it’s so refreshing. And when you serve fruit with a dressing or dip, it makes a great warm-weather dessert! This Strawberry Fruit Dressing and Dip is big on strawberry flavor and really good served with strawberries or a mix of fresh fruit chunks–pineapples, sliced bananas, apple wedges…whatever fruit you like.

I call this recipe a dressing and a dip because it’s thin enough to use as a creamy dressing, drizzled over your fruit, but you can also dip your fruit in it, if you don’t mind the thinner consistency. I think it’s best when you make it a day ahead and refrigerate it–it gets a little creamier the next day and thickens slightly more.

This recipe is really easy to make–just add all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and you’ll have a delicious strawberry dressing or dip to enjoy with your favorite fruit!

STRAWBERRY FRUIT DRESSING AND DIP by NancyC

Makes about 3 cups

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) package softened cream cheese, regular or light
  • 1 cup strawberries, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup strawberry jam, preserves, or fruit spread

Make your block of cream cheese extra soft by heating it in the microwave in a small microwave-safe bowl for 40 to 50 seconds. Then add all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend well (the mixture is on the thick side initially, so you may have to help stir it along several times if using a blender).

Keep fruit dip refrigerated until ready to serve–it’s best if you can make it a day ahead and refrigerate it overnight. You can serve the dip in a small bowl with a large platter of fruit or serve the fruit and dip together in individual small bowls or cups. You can also serve the fruit on individual small plates with the dip drizzled over the fruit.

Note: You can substitute another kind of fruit and fruit jam for the strawberries–you could use blueberries with blueberry jam, pineapples with pineapple preserves, etc. Use whatever fruit you like best. You can use either fresh fruit or drained fruit from a can. I prefer using fresh fruit, but either works.

Do you have a favorite dressing or dip that you like to serve with fruit?

This recipe was featured on Meal Plan Monday.

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Homemade Applesauce @ NancyC

Homemade Applesauce (Sweetened with Honey or Maple Syrup)

Homemade Applesauce @ NancyC

I’ve had homemade applesauce before, but this is the first time I’ve made my own. And let me tell you, it’s so much better than store-bought! It’s not as convenient as buying it, but I think it’s worth the extra effort to make homemade applesauce if you have the time. It’s really easy to make your own–the most time-consuming part is peeling the apples. After that, it’s just a matter of mixing the ingredients in a saucepan and letting it cook for 25 minutes until the apples are soft. If you like chunky applesauce like me, you can just use a potato masher to mash those apples into applesauce. If you like your applesauce smooth, you can puree the cooled apple chunks in a blender (you may have to do that in several batches).

I like sweetening my applesauce with honey or maple syrup. If you prefer using brown sugar, you can use that instead. The cinnamon and nutmeg also give this applesauce a great flavor.

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE (Sweetened with Honey or Maple Syrup) by NancyC

Makes about 4 servings

  • 8 cups (3 pounds) apples, peeled, cored, and chopped or sliced (this would be about 8-9 medium-size apples; use your favorite variety)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup (or substitute 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a medium-size saucepan, combine apples, juice or cider, honey or maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir ingredients together, then cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes, until apples are soft. Let apples cool, then mash them with a potato masher. Or you can puree them in a blender until smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

You can serve this applesauce chilled as a side dish or snack. Or for dessert, heat it and use as a topping over ice cream. You can also serve it warm or cool at breakfast as a topping for pancakes, a bowl of oatmeal, or a cup of plain or vanilla yogurt.

Have you made homemade applesauce before?

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Ann’s Slow Cooker Apple Pie Filling

Anns Apple Pie Filling @ NancyCBack in August, my friend Ann and her husband Steve were busy picking apples from their very own apple tree. And this year it produced quite a number of apples! Ann told me about an easy apple pie filling she was making with these apples. It’s made in a slow cooker, and after it’s done cooking and cooling, you simply put the mixture in a freezer bag, freeze it, and it’s ready for whenever you’re wanting to make an apple pie with your favorite crust, whether it’s homemade or ready-made. Or you can use it to make an apple crisp or cobbler.

Ann gave me the recipe, along with lots and lots of apples from her tree, so I could try it out. This pie filling is so good! After making my first batch, I ate some of it just as it was and decided, in addition to pie filling, it would also be great as a warm topping for pancakes, french toast, yogurt (top vanilla or plain yogurt and some granola with it for a great breakfast or snack), and even as a topping for ice cream. It also reminds me of those fried apples at Cracker Barrel—so I think it could work great served as a fruity side dish!

An added bonus is that this apple pie filling smells so wonderful as it’s cooking, especially after the first few hours—the apples, cinnamon, and other spices give your kitchen a wonderful autumn aroma!

Ann's Slow Cooker Apple Pie Filling

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

ANN’S SLOW COOKER APPLE PIE FILLING                         Anns Apple Pie Filling @ NancyC

Makes one 9″deep dish pie (or one 9″ square apple crisp or cobbler)

  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 cups of peeled, cored, and sliced apples

In slow cooker, put 2 cups of hot water and whisk in 1/2 cup of cornstarch; whisk together until there are no lumps.

Add in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Whisk all ingredients together; then add the sliced apples, mixing everything together.

Cook on low for 4 hours, stirring occasionally, then cool completely. After mixture cools, put in a gallon freezer bag and store in the freezer. Just take out when needed, thaw, and pour into a 9″ deep dish pie shell and bake!

Follow baking instructions from your favorite pie recipe, or if you don’t have one, you can bake at 375˚F for 50 to 60 minutes, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. If it looks like there’s too much filling for the size of your pan, just use what you need—you can always save the rest of the filling to use as a topping.

Recipe courtesy of Ann W. | nancy-c.com

This is the first time I’ve made my own apple pie filling, so I feel like I’ve really accomplished something! 🙂 Have you ever made it?

Sharing at Wonderful WednesdayHearth & Soul.

Ginger-Pear Muffins with Crumb Topping

Ginger-Pear Muffins with Crumb Topping @ NancyCreative.com

Now that it feels like autumn is in the air, I thought I’d make some muffins with one of my favorite autumn fruits–fresh pears! A friend and I did some pear-picking, and I picked enough to make these muffins. If you like moist muffins filled with lots of small chunks of fresh fruit and topped with a sweet crumb topping, then these muffins are for you! The mild gingery flavor is just right and goes so well with the pears.

These muffins taste great warm or cooled. Great for an autumn breakfast or brunch. Or snack or dessert…let’s just say they are great anytime you want a good, moist, sweet muffin. With a nice hot cup of coffee or tea!

GINGER-PEAR MUFFINS WITH CRUMB TOPPING by NancyC

Makes about 15 regular-size muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup light olive oil
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely chopped pears, peeled or unpeeled  (about 2 large or 3 medium pears)

FOR CRUMB TOPPING:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners; set aside.

Make the Crumb Topping: mix flour, light brown sugar, and ground ginger in a medium-size bowl. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender until mixture becomes crumbly; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, sugar, baking soda, ginger, and salt; set aside.

In medium-size bowl, mix egg, olive oil, Greek yogurt, milk, and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in the chopped pears, blending evenly into the batter.

Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle crumb topping over the muffins, then bake at 350˚F for 19-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let muffins cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

I over-filled some of my muffin cups a little with batter, closer to 3/4 full, and when you do that, the batter will overflow a little onto your muffin pan around the edges. Which isn’t a big deal if you’re using a non-stick pan–they still come out pretty easily. But if you’re using a regular pan, you’ll want to make sure you just fill the muffin cups 2/3 full of batter.

Do you like pears and baking with pears? What’s your favorite pear recipe?

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