Here are some of our family's favorite fruit recipes

For us, recipes aren't rules; they are more like suggestions. Be creative--use different combinations of fruit or flours, cut back, substitute or eliminate the sugar--do what works for you! Often, we are so busy picking, hauling and selling our fruit that we just eat it fresh in the orchard, but for those times you want to serve something especially satisfying any one of these recipes will do. Enjoy!

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Fresh Fruit Coffee Cake

This freezes well for a make ahead treat

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 to 1-1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter

2 eggs
1 teaspoon extract--almond or vanilla
3/4 cup milk

Fresh cherries (pitted & halved), apples, peaches, or other in-season fruit--about 2 to 3 cups

Work flours, sugar, baking powder and butter into crumbs by hand using a pastry blender, a mixer or food processor. Set aside one cup for topping. Add eggs, vanilla, and milk; mix well. Pour batter into a greased and floured pan (9"x 9" or larger). Arrange sliced fresh fruit on top; be generous. Cover with crumb topping. (I add some sliced almonds to the topping when I use cherries & almond extract.) Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.

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Feudin' Pudding

A recipe from my childhood*

1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups chopped raw apples
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Beat egg, add sugar & vanilla. Combine and add dry ingredients. Fold in apples and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes in a greased 9x9 pan. Serve warm with whipped cream.

*I asked my 93 year old former neighbor if she knew how this recipe got its name, but she couldn't recall. Would you serve it to settle a feud or would it start one because it tastes so good you wouldn't want to share?

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Swedish Apple Pie

Quick and easy--you don't need to peel the apples or roll out a crust--delicious!

5 to 6 medium apples* (about 5-6 cups)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour (can be all or part whole wheat flour)
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped nuts
pinch of salt
sprinkle of vanilla

Core and slice apples. Fill 9" or 10" pie plate 2/3 full with apples. Sprinkle with tablespoon each of sugar and cinnamon. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

* We like using Ginger Gold apples for this recipe.

Note: We often double this recipe for a crowd--use a 9x13 pan in place of pie plate.

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Apple Cranberry Crisp

Use all apples or a combination of fruits

3 cups chopped apples*, peeling optional (about 3 medium apples)
2 cups raw cranberries, fresh or frozen 
(Note: you can substitute more apples or pitted & halved cherries in place of the cranberries)
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick cooking oats
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup flour (can be whole wheat)
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted butter

Combine apples, cranberries, and sugar in an 8-inch square baking dish or 2-quart casserole; mix thoroughly to blend; set aside. Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, pecans and melted butter. Spread evenly over fruit layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the fruit is fork tender. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream. Makes 8 servings.

*Akane apples are our favorite for this recipe as their red skins add color to this delectible dessert.

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Applesauce Cake made into frosted, diamond shape bar cookies

Applesauce Cake made into frosted, diamond shape bar cookies

APPLESAUCE CAKE

We mainly make this versatile recipe into muffins or bar cookies--as I remember my mom doing (see below), plus it is our go-to allergen free baked treat

1 ¾ cup flour (I use part or all whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt, optional
½ cup shortening (butter, oil, margarine, etc.)
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup seedless raisins, optional
nuts, optional

Sift dry ingredients together (flour, soda, spices & salt).  Cream shortening and sugar well.  Stir in applesauce.  Add flour; stir in raisins and nuts, if desired.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes -- test for doneness.  Baking time varies depending upon the pan size (and type of flour) you use.  Muffins or pan cookies  take 15 to 20 minutes, mini-muffins 10 to 15 minutes.

Notes, Variations and Retrospection

NOTES:  This recipe makes about 12 standard muffins or 36 mini muffins. You can use white flour, whole wheat flour or a combination. I like to include the raisins and/or nuts in the batter if I don't plan to frost and sprinkle them with nuts. However, my kids are happiest if I substitute chocolate chips for the raisins and nuts.

VARIATIONS:  For gluten free: substitute the gluten free flour or flour mix of your choice, adding 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (if it isn't already included in the gluten free flour mix). In a pinch, I just process rolled oats into a flour. For dairy free: use oil as the shortening. For nut free: simply eliminate the nuts. This recipe is already egg free. Our daughter who follows a gluten free diet has made these using 1 cup canned pumpkin puree in place of the applesauce.

RETROSPECTION:  I remember my mother often baking these yummy treats in the morning before we left for school so she could include them in our sack lunches. She made them more like cookies, spreading the batter in a 10 by 15 inch pan, then popping them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Mom covered the bars with a powdered sugar icing*, sprinkled them with chopped walnuts and cut them into “diamond” shapes.

A number of years ago when I requested this recipe, I asked Mom what type of shortening she used. She told me I really didn’t want to know because she used the bacon grease left over from cooking Dad’s morning bacon. No wonder I always thought these were so good! Mom also said she used this recipe often because it doesn’t call for eggs—since she usually used the last of them for Dad’s breakfast.

*Powdered sugar icing:  in a small bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla.

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Nectarine Cobbler

Originally this was a blackberry cobbler recipe, but we adapted it to use up our "seconds" or blemished fruit. It is great using a combination of nectarines and berries.

6 cups sliced nectarines--don't bother to peel them
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups flour (whole wheat is good)
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 butter
3/4 cup milk

Coat a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray and layer sliced nectarines on the bottom of the pan. Mix sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and butter together (as for pie crust). Add milk and pour batter over fruit.

Mix together the following and sprinkle over batter: 1 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons corn starch, pinch of salt

Pour 1 cup boiling water over all ingredients in the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

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Cherry Berry Pie

Using your favorite double crust pastry recipe

2 cups fresh sweet cherries,
stemmed & pitted
2 cups fresh blueberries or sliced strawberries
3 Tablespoons unbleached white flour
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup light honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon rind
confectioners' sugar for the top

Make up your favorite double crust pastry recipe. Roll out bottom crust and place in a 9" pie plate. Roll out remaining pastry and cut into about 10, 1/2 by 12 inch, strips. Wrap these in waxed paper and refrigerate. For the filling, gently toss together cherries and berries in a bowl. Gradually sift in the flour as you toss. Keep tossing, and drizzle or sprinkle in remaining ingredients. Deposit the filling into the waiting crust. Using the refrigerated pastry strips, form the top crust as you wish--weave them for a lattice affect, lay them flat in a criss-cross fashion, or twist them over the top of the filling. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 350 and bake another 30 to 35 minutes. Sift confectioners' sugar over the top as soon as the pie comes out of the oven.

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Microwave Applesauce

4 cups sliced apples, peeling optional
(about 4 medium apples)
1/2 cup water
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar, if desired
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a 1 quart microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave on high until apples are tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Mash apples to desired consistency. Serve warm or chilled. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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Tomato Bacon Rotini

This recipe is best with fresh garden tomatoes, like the Super Sweet 100 or Sun Gold cherry tomatoes we sell at the market. However, grocery store or even drained, canned tomatoes can be used.

1 - 12 oz. pkg. Rotini, uncooked (about 4 cups dry noodles)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt (or less to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes (or 2 Tablespoons fresh, snipped)
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 medium tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped (or use cherry tomatoes, halved)

Cook rotini, drain. In a large sauce pan or skillet, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Blend in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese, parsley, bacon, tomato and rotini; toss to coat. Heat through and serve immediately.