Fall has been ushered in by the falling thermometer reading and the change of aspen leaves in my little corner of the world. Football and spiced cider. I love this time of year. I get out my recipe box and start making things in my crock pot again and start searching for all the recipes that have to do with apples.
In my hunt for a spiced cider recipe I was stopped in my tracks when I saw the old card worn and stained with my grandmother’s beautiful handwriting on it. This card had been enclosed in a letter long ago when I was a newlywed – it revealed my grandma’s apple pie filling. Her letter had stated she was bringing it to Bingo that night and she thought I might like to have it. This grandma I am referring to lived in Minnesota. She was Swedish and loved to cook and read. To be honest with you in the course of my lifetime I didn’t spend hours with her since she lived so far away; yet I always felt a connection to her. We shared our love for books, antiques, and carbohydrates. She made the best peanut butter blossom cookies ever; always sending us a goodie box for Christmas stuffed with delicious treats and treasures.
The next card I looked at was from my neighbor. She had found a recipe years ago that was dairy free for my son who has food allergies. I make this delicious applesauce cake every fall. I found recipes that reminded me of celebrations and ones that brought memories of difficult times too. Who would have thought a recipe box could bring about such thought provoking images.
The sharing of food has always been a part of the human story. With it we make friends, celebrate loved ones, and count our blessings. For many of us certain foods stir up fond childhood memories. Food is a powerful element that can bring people together. The recipes in my little box all have a story. Many are clippings from magazines and newspapers that made it in with the best of intentions but still have never made it to the table. Others are well worn and have a reserved spot at each of our holiday gatherings.
I have friends who have all their recipes in digital folders and they are amazing cooks and meal planners. I’ve decided to keep mine tucked away in the “ treasure box”. I hope one day my kids and grandkids will be sharing recipes that they have come to enjoy and they will see the worn and stained cards as more than cooking directions on paper but as memories treasured.
What is your favorite recipe that evokes fond memories?
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.
They broke bread in their homes and ate together
with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.
My Three Favorite Apple Recipes and memories from my Treasure Box!
Hot Baked Cinnamon Apples
My favorite memory: Raking leaves in my grandma’s (we called her Momo) backyard and coming into the house and it smelling of apples and cinnamon cooking on the stove.
10 apples, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
1 dash salt
1 dash nutmeg
whipped cream (optional) or ice cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place cut and peeled apples in a mixing bowl and gently mix all the ingredients together.
- Put apples in a non-stick pan; cover and place in the oven.
- Bake for 45 minutes, stirring at least once every 15 minutes.
- Once they are soft, cook for another few minutes to thicken the cinnamon sauce.
- I like to put everything into my baking dish and then mix it since there is less to clean up.
Apple Pie Filling
My favorite memory: Opening the letter from my grandma and trying out the recipe that night and having my husband and friends loving it.
8 cups peeled and sliced apples ( I use a combination of Honey Crisp, Granny Smith and Pink Lady Apples
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1/4 c. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter – cut into squares
I use Pillsbury crust from the dairy case. Excellent crust without all the work.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Roll out two pie crust sheets
- Spray bottom of pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and mold bottom crust to pan
- Cut, peel and slice thinly the apples and place in a large bowl
- Sprinkle with flour and spices
- Toss with fresh lemon juice and zest
- Place apples in bottom crust
- Sprinkle with brown sugar
- Place butter squares on top of apple filling
- Place top crust on and trim edges to fit your pan – making sure to cut cross slits in the top crust so air can escape
- Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown
My favorite memory: My sweet neighbor, Mary, bringing my son this Applesauce Cake one year on Halloween because she knew he was allergic to most of the candy and she wanted him to have a special treat. I still make him this cake and he is 23.
2 1/2 c. flour
2 C. Sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 c. soft shortening (Crisco)
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. applesauce
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease and flour a bundt pan
- Sift together all dry ingredients
- Add shortening, water, and applesauce and mix well
- Beat in 2 eggs
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean
Enjoy making memories with those you love!
By Sherri Crandall
Wife to Rusty, Mom of 4
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Associate Director of Women’s Ministry at Mission Hills Church